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Posts tagged ‘National Security’

Biden Was A National Security Threat Long Before His Classified Docs Fiasco


BY: JORDAN BOYD | JANUARY 24, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/24/biden-was-a-national-security-threat-long-before-his-classified-docs-fiasco/

POTUS walks away from Marine One
Don’t be fooled into thinking this is the first time Biden has sacrificed U.S. national security to protect his personal interests.

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Long before classified and potentially compromising documents were discovered in President Joe Biden’s “think tank” office and Wilmington home and garage, the Democrat’s actions posed a threat to U.S. national security. The discovery of even more top secret documents dating back to Biden’s time as vice president and senator sparked widespread concerns that the current president hid material that put U.S. national security at risk, potentially for decades.

Republicans worried — and even partisan hacks such as Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff conceded — that Biden’s harboring of classified documents in high-traffic, unsecured areas could have put Americans or the U.S. government at risk.

“Is it possible that national security was jeopardized here as many, including you, raised that possibility with the Mar-a-Lago documents?” ABC’s “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl asked.

I don’t think we can exclude the possibility without knowing more of the facts,” the disgraced former chair of the House Intelligence Committee replied.

It seems logical to investigate Biden’s recent scandal to ensure he didn’t compromise any sensitive material. But the truth is, he opened up the U.S. to a myriad of national security crises, abuses, and disasters long before news broke of his document scandal. Since taking office, Biden, who is charged with ensuring the national security of the U.S., has put Americans and their security at risk countless times.

By openly pursuing a policy of escalation in the U.S.-funded proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, Biden and his administration have significantly increased the threat of nuclear war. A conflict that only ends on Ukraine’s terms and might result in a radioactive third world war compromises Americans’ safety and tax dollars.

It also leaves countries like Taiwan vulnerable to communist China’s hegemonic operations. While China stockpiled hundreds of nuclear warheads and prepared to expand its influence, Biden was further emboldening his country’s No. 1 foreign threat. First, he did business with the Chinese gas giant with ties to his son. Then Biden pushed the Saudis into an amicable relationship with the Eastern communist government.

Speaking of the Middle East, it was Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal that sent tens of thousands of Afghan refugees into U.S. cities without proper screening, vetting, and inspection. This lapse in security resulted in two known security risks and dozens more evacuees tainted by “derogatory information” entering the country unmonitored. Domestically, Biden and the same agency that failed to vet Afghan refugees jeopardized U.S. national security by escorting in the worst illegal immigration influx in recorded U.S. history and then doing nothing to fix it. Under Biden’s watch, more than 100 potential terrorists and hundreds more criminals crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally.

Even dating back to his time as vice president, Biden sacrificed national security for profit by keeping his son Hunter Biden close. Hunter didn’t just exchange access to his father for cash to fund the family’s lavish lifestyle, he was paid by oligarchs and businessmen in countries that have a vested interest in meddling with U.S. affairs. That’s likely why the inexperienced Hunter was handed a lucrative position at a prominent Ukrainian energy company at the same time his father took the lead on Ukraine policy for the Obama administration.

At one point, Biden used a non-government email to share official White House business with Hunter, a civilian who shouldn’t have had access to sensitive material. Republican senators’ attempts to investigate the emails and the role they may have played in enriching the Biden family business were ignored.

Biden’s willingness to share delicate information with his son, whose own documents stored on an abandoned laptop likely pose a serious threat to the national security of the United States, is more than problematic. Combine that with Biden’s knowledge of and involvement in Hunter’s business with foreign oligarchs, and you have a long list of foreign entanglements and finances that could severely hamper the elder Biden’s ability to put American interests first.

If early reports are correct in noting that some of the recovered Biden documents included “US intelligence memos and briefing materials that covered topics including Ukraine, Iran and the United Kingdom,” Biden’s information cache does warrant investigation and transparency. But don’t be fooled into thinking this is the first time Biden has sacrificed U.S. national security to protect his personal interests, preserve the Biden family business, and advance his radical agenda.


Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.

FBI’s False Labeling of Biden Laptop as Disinformation Is Even Worse Than It Seems. Here’s Why


BY: MARGOT CLEVELAND | JULY 26, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/07/26/fbi-jeopardized-national-security-by-calling-verified-hunter-biden-evidence-disinformation-whistleblowers-say/

Hunter Biden

This scandal is no longer just about the Biden family; it’s about every member of the law enforcement and intelligence communities who put our country at risk by failing to do their jobs.

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FBI whistleblowers claim that agents opened a sham investigation into Hunter Biden to brand reliable and verifiable derogatory evidence as “disinformation,” according to an explosive news release issued yesterday by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

If true, beyond exposing the FBI’s role in running cover for the Biden family, the whistleblowers’ claims prove significant for a second reason: By failing to thoroughly vet the evidence in its possession related to Hunter Biden — which included the hard drive for the MacBook Hunter had abandoned at a repair shop — the intelligence community ignored a momentous national security threat, namely that the Russians potentially possessed a second Hunter Biden laptop. 

Late Monday, Grassley issued a news release citing “multiple FBI whistleblowers, including those in senior positions,” who raised “the alarm about tampering by senior FBI and Justice Department officials in politically sensitive investigations,” including “investigative activity involving derogatory information on Hunter Biden’s financial and foreign business activities.” According to the Iowa Republican, the whistleblowers alleged that Washington Field Office Assistant Special Agent in Charge Timothy “Thibault and other FBI officials sought to falsely portray as disinformation evidence acquired from multiple sources that provided the FBI derogatory information related to Hunter Biden’s financial and foreign business activities, even though some of that information had already been or could be verified.”

The news release added that “in August of 2020, FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten opened an assessment, which was used by a team of agents at FBI headquarters to improperly discredit and falsely claim that derogatory information about Biden’s activities was disinformation, causing investigative activity and sourcing to be shut down.” “The FBI headquarters team allegedly placed their assessment findings in a restricted access subfolder, effectively flagging sources and derogatory evidence related to Hunter Biden as disinformation while shielding the justification for such findings from scrutiny,” according to Grassley.

The Iowa senator claimed that “Thibault also reportedly ordered the closure of a stream of information related to Hunter Biden and sought to improperly mark the matter within FBI systems in a way that would prevent it from being re-opened in the future.” “The FBI headquarters team allegedly claimed that reporting from the stream was at risk of disinformation,” but the whistleblowers told Grassley, “that all of the information obtained through that stream was already verified or verifiable.”

The FBI whistleblowers’ charges, if accurate, are devastating and mean that at a time that Hunter Biden was already reportedly under investigation by the Delaware U.S. Attorney’s Office, rather than work with the agents already investigating then-candidate Joe Biden’s son, FBI headquarters initiated its own “assessment.” Then, according to the whistleblowers, agents improperly shut down sources, falsely framed evidence as disinformation, and hid the reasoning for that determination from other FBI agents behind restricted areas.

The press release also suggests that the FBI’s “assessment” served to frame the investigation Grassley and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., were conducting into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealing as tainted by Russian disinformation. As part of that investigation, in May 2020, “Senate Republicans issued a subpoena seeking documents from the younger Biden and asked for information related to more than two dozen entities, including Burisma,” which was the Ukrainian energy company that paid Hunter nearly $1 million a year to sit on its board. 

With the Trump-Biden presidential contest in full force, Grassley and Johnson’s investigation into Hunter prompted pushback from Democrats, with Democrat members of the Gang of Eight sending a letter and classified addendum in July 2020 to FBI Director Christopher Wray “specifically citing the Johnson-Grassley probe into Hunter Biden as reason for an urgent briefing for Congress about foreign ‘disinformation.’”

The following month, Democrat Sens. Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon wrote Grassley and Johnson and requested that members of the Senate Homeland Security and Finance committees, which they chaired, “receive a briefing from the FBI’s foreign influence task force related to their ongoing Biden investigations.” 

According to an August 5, 2020, Washington Post article, “the Democrats have requested the member briefing for months, and the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies have previously briefed committee staff on possible foreign disinformation.” The FBI later briefed both Grassley and Johnson on August 6, 2020, but according to the senators, that briefing was both “unsolicited and unnecessary” and failed to provide any new information to the senators or any specific allegations that they had received “disinformation” as part of their Hunter Biden investigation. 

Given that FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten, according to whistleblowers, opened his assessment into Hunter in August, the whistleblowers’ allegations raise serious questions concerning whether Democrats pressured the FBI into launching an investigation into Hunter as a pretext to provide the desired “disinformation briefing.” 

Further, in April of 2021, someone leaked the fact that the FBI had briefed Grassley and Johnson on August 6, 2020, with the Washington Post running a story painting the senators as reckless in their investigation into Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings by suggesting they “ignored FBI warnings and thus may have been manipulated by the Kremlin.” As the Wall Street Journal reported at the time, it seems possible that “the FBI set up two Members of Congress for political attack under the guise of a ‘defensive briefing.’” 

The whistleblowers’ accusations then, when coupled with the media coverage, suggest that an agent from FBI headquarters opened an assessment to provide cover to Hunter Biden, to eliminate source trails for the investigation into then-candidate Joe Biden’s son, and to taint the legitimate inquiry into Hunter Biden’s business dealings. That scandal, however, represents but half the issue because the whistleblowers’ statements, if true, suggest the assessment of Hunter was a sham. And as a sham, the agents would not vet the evidence available to them, which would have included the MacBook laptop Hunter had abandoned at a repair shop in Delaware.

The FBI seized that laptop in December of 2019, after being alerted to its existence in October. At that time, FBI agents were reportedly told that in addition to pornography, the computer had information “dealing with foreign interests, a pay-for-play scheme linked to the former administration, [and] lots of foreign money.” 

What the FBI did after seizing the laptop in December of 2019 is unknown. However, given that the FBI was reportedly told it contained “a pay-for-play scheme linked to the former administration, [and] lots of foreign money,” any legitimate investigation would have involved reviewing the laptop for information relevant to Grassley and Johnson’s investigations. And had the FBI reviewed the laptop, agents would have discovered a video recording capturing Hunter Biden saying that in 2018, another laptop went missing when he was “partying in Las Vegas,” and that Hunter believed it was stolen by a group of Russians. 

The video then showed a prostitute asking Hunter if he worried the Russian thieves would try to “blackmail” him. “Yeah, in some way, yeah,” Hunter replied, noting his father is “running for president,” and that “I talk about it all the time.” Hunter had also noted that the computer had “tons” of compromising videos on it. 

But it was not just the compromising videos of Hunter of concern, but the financial information likely on that laptop that could implicate his father in the pay-to-play scandal. If that information were in the hands of “the Russians,” as Hunter believed, the national security risk was huge and demanded the intelligence community conduct a defensive briefing of Joe Biden. 

Instead, it appears from the whistleblowers’ comments that a non-investigation took place, with legitimate sources and evidence falsely categorized as disinformation, and then rather than provide Biden a defensive briefing, the senators received one. 

This scandal is no longer just about the Biden family; it is about every member of the law enforcement and intelligence communities who put our country at risk by failing to do their jobs.


Margot Cleveland is The Federalist’s senior legal correspondent. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and Townhall.com, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.

How The Rachel Levine ‘Four-Star Admiral’ Photo-Op Will Damage U.S. Security


Reported John Lucas | OCTOBER 25, 2021

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2021/10/25/how-the-rachel-levine-four-star-admiral-photo-op-will-damage-u-s-security/

To great public fanfare, Joe Biden has anointed Rachel Levine a “four-star admiral” in the Public Health Service (PHS). The public relations campaign in support of Levine has emphasized his status as the first transgender four-star “admiral” in the “eight U.S. uniformed services.” That PR campaign is misleading, and it is part of a dangerous effort to undermine the military. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) kicked off the propaganda campaign, leading with the “four-star transgender” meme: On October 19, it announced “the nation’s first openly transgender four-star officer across any of the eight uniformed services of the United States. (emphasis here and below is added). HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra reinforced the theme: “Admiral Levine’s historic appointment as the first openly transgender four-star officer is a giant step forward towards equality as a nation.” The U.S. surgeon general touted Levine as “first openly transgender four-star officer to serve in any of the uniformed services.”

The media parroted the party line. Here is The New York Times: “She [sic] is also the first openly transgender person to become a four-star officer in any of the nation’s eight uniformed services.” USA Today’s contribution was virtually indistinguishable: “Rachel Levine becomes first openly transgender 4-star officer across uniformed services.” Here’s The Washington Post: “Rachael Levine, openly transgendered health official sworn in as four-star admiral in Public Health Service.”

This roll-out and publicity barrage leave little doubt that Levine’s primary qualification for his instant promotion is his transgender status. What’s worse, it will damage U.S. military recruitment and morale, thus damaging U.S. national security.

Yes, the Public Health Service is one of the eight “uniformed services” but, notwithstanding the uniforms and its bureaucrats designated as “admirals,” it is not part of the “armed forces.” The U.S. armed forces are the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Space Force. The other two government departments in the category of “uniformed services” are the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps and the Public Health Services Commissioned Officer Corps. In addition to their Navy-like uniforms, these two also are headed by bureaucrats designated “admirals.”

Four-star is the highest rank in the U.S. military. Although nine five-star admirals and generals served in World War II, the five-star rank was retired upon the death of Gen. Omar Bradley in 1981, leaving four-star generals as the highest rank. The four-star designation calls to mind such historical and accomplished military men as Admiral William Halsey Jr., who commanded the Pacific Fleet in the fight-to-the-death against Japan (and was promoted to five-star rank only after the end of the war), and such notables as Gen. George Patton, recipient of two distinguished service crosses for heroism in battle and the American commander most feared by the Germans in World War II.

Even Patton was a “mere” three-star general when he commanded the Third Army in its drive through Europe into the heart of Germany, and was only awarded his fourth star less than a month before the war’s end. Thus, while maneuvering his Third Army to relieve Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, Patton would have been outranked by now-Admiral Levine.

In short, promotion to the four-star level normally indicates decades of military service, often in dangerous and life-threatening circumstances, and military achievements of the highest order. Levine does not remotely merit any comparison with these or any of the other accomplished four-star officers, whether admirals or generals.

The administration’s publicity campaign seeking to present Levine as an accomplished four-star admiral is a fraud, particularly coupled with the references to all the uniformed services, as if they are somehow comparable. Although now designated as an “admiral,” Levine commands no sailors, no submarines, and no ships. At least the admiral managing the NOAA has ships and aircraft to command.

Unlike Navy admirals, Levin did not become an admiral after decades of service, including overseas deployments, time away from family, and the hazards that accompany military service. Nor did he attend Annapolis or any other service academy, or even Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) or officer candidate school. He was never an ensign, lieutenant, commander, captain, or even a vice admiral.

Others have documented Levine’s failures in the public health arena. In view of that record, no one can even claim that he is the best person to head PHS out of the hundreds of thousands of physicians in the United States. That is why the PR campaign emphasized his purported gender status. There is no doubt that he is most famous for claiming to be a woman, after 33 years of marriage and fathering two children with a real woman.

Americans should consider the cumulative effect that this and similar boneheaded decisions have on military retention and morale and whether they are done by design. Consider for a moment the perspective of, for example, an Army major or Navy lieutenant commander with 10 to 15 years of service. Or perhaps consider a Marine gunnery sergeant or Army master sergeant with the same amount of service.

Let us assume that he is in one of the special operations units, such as the Army Special Forces, Recon Marines or SEALS, since they are still engaged in combat. Such an officer or NCO has worked extremely hard to receive each promotion. He has been at war for his entire adult life and probably has between 6 and 10 combat deployments, which amount to years away from his family. He may have been wounded, perhaps multiple times. At the bare minimum, he and his family have had to cope with horrendous personal and family stress, among other issues. Now he sees a man with no military experience summarily appointed to six grades above him to the rank of four-star admiral—the equivalent of General Patton, for Pete’s sake—purely as a political sop.

Does anyone in this administration conceive of the damage to morale that this can cause? Do they care? This tells American servicemen and women that their sacrifices are not appreciated, their service is not valued, and that they will not be treated with equal fairness.

Are we going to see a rash of resignations in reaction to this one incident? No. But it most assuredly is another blow at the foundation of the military, another effort to use it as a lab for social experimentation and to force political conformity upon those who remain.

This is part of the effort to purge the military of non-leftists and to seed the ranks with “woke,” politically conscious officers and NCOs who will hew to the “progressive” party line. It is part of the pattern that includes Biden’s purge of Trump appointees from the service academies’ boards, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s search for alleged “domestic terrorists” in the ranks, and Gen.  Mark Milley’s focus on the “white rage” supposedly permeating the services. It is part of leftist ideology’s ever-growing danger to the U.S. military and therefore to the country.

John Lucas is a practicing attorney in Tennessee who has successfully argued before the U. S. Supreme Court. Before entering law school at the University of Texas, he served in the Army Special Forces as an enlisted man and then graduated from the U. S. Military Academy at West Point in 1969. He is an Army Ranger and fought in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader. He is married with four children.

Human Rights Expert: China Is Practicing ‘Eugenics by Genocide’


Reported by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. | 

Read more at https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2020/11/19/human-rights-expert-china-is-practicing-eugenics-genocide/

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, leads other Chinese leaders attending the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing, China on Oct. … Wang Ye/Xinhua via AP

“The practice of eugenics has been part of the debate on population control since Margaret Sanger’s visit to China in 1922,” Reggie Littlejohn, a China expert and president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, told Breitbart News Thursday.

“The language of ‘improving the quality of the population’ is not new,” Ms. Littlejohn said in response to a Breitbart News story highlighting recent revelations that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is doubling down on its eugenic goal of breeding superior subjects.

The CCP has reportedly been carrying out a “systematic campaign” of forced abortions, sterilizations, and implantations of IUDs on Uyghurs and other minorities to lessen their numbers while simultaneously incentivizing procreation among the Han Chinese, the dominant ethnic group in China.

“I have long been concerned about the eugenic overtones of this language,” Littlejohn said, noting that the CCP has no scruples about dictating who is allowed to procreate and under what circumstances.

“The Chinese Communist Party puts couples through a premarital exam,” she added, “and some couples — whose children apparently were not deemed to ‘improve the quality of the population’ — have been required to agree to permanent contraception or sterilization in order to obtain a marriage license.”

Reports on forced abortions and the sterilization of Uyghur women on a massive scale are “deeply disturbing,” Littlejohn said, as are “reports that that the CCP is practicing infanticide on babies born without permission.”

“The CCP has placed an estimated one to three million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in internment/concentration camps, where there are reports of genetic testing,” she stated, “and a tribunal has found that Uyghurs are among those whose organs are being forcibly harvested for transplant.”

“Does the CCP see this as another way ‘to improve the quality of the population’?” she asked. “If so, in my opinion, this constitutes eugenics by genocide.”

“Governments should press for an independent investigation of these claims, by an international team given full access to the Uyghur internment camps,” she said.

News of the CCP’s unapologetic embrace of eugenics in its latest 5-year plan coincided with efforts by major abortion providers Planned Parenthood and Marie Stopes International to distance themselves from their eugenicist founders, who similarly sought to rid society of “inferior” ethnicities.

Americans Voted To End War In Syria, But This Unelected Bureaucrat Lied To Overrule Them


Reported by Willis L. Krumholz  18, 2020

Americans Voted To End War In Syria, But This Unelected Bureaucrat Lied To Overrule Them

Defense One, a subsidiary of The Atlantic, came out with a story last week about a man named Jim Jeffrey. If you haven’t heard of him, don’t feel bad, but he’s pretty important in Washington, D.C. Under his fancy title, he’s been appointed to oversee the U.S. fight against ISIS and what are supposed to be the limited operations of the American troops who still remain in Syria.

Jeffrey is now also a hero in D.C., because in the interview with Defense One he bragged about how he misled President Donald Trump and other top White House officials about the real number of U.S. troops in Syria. “We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey told the Defense One reporter.

The Establishment Wants War in Syria

To say that the D.C. foreign policy establishment wants a U.S. ground presence in Syria is an understatement. During the Obama administration, partisan former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan spent $1 billion from taxpayers per year trying to arm “moderate” rebels in Syria. What Brennan got was loads of American weapons in the hands of jihadists, including ISIS affiliates. In one example, a particular program trained 15,000 rebels in Jordan and returned them to Syria. Only “four or five” recruits out of the 15,000 turned up to fight. The rest either joined jihadist forces, including ISIS, or sold their American weapons to these forces.

The futility of regime change efforts didn’t deter official Washington, however. Western media raved about “the white helmets.” They also glossed over the fact that there were few moderate rebels and that many of America’s preferred rebels to take on the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad were guilty of unspeakable brutalities.

Meanwhile, a civil war pitting Muslim Sunnis against Shias — which was partly fueled by American money and weapons and certainly fueled by weapons and money from Gulf Sunni states, including Saudi Arabia — caused a humanitarian crisis. Millions of refugees flooded Europe. Into this chaos and power vacuum stepped ISIS, which at its pinnacle had amassed a huge amount of territory in Iraq and Syria.

On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump repeatedly promised to destroy ISIS and then get U.S. troops out of Syria. This was a large difference between Trump and his Republican primary opponents and then later Hillary Clinton, who argued that U.S. involvement in Syria should not be limited to destroying the Islamic State and that the United States should topple Assad.

Trump’s view was that if Assad was toppled, the power vacuum would be greater, and the jihadist problem would worsen. He also argued that such a move was not in America’s interest, had no clear exit strategy, and would cause an even greater humanitarian disaster, including thousands of dead American troops.

As president, Trump routinely called Syria a place of “sand and death.” Multiple times he attempted to pull the United States out of Syria, only to be met with Assad allegedly striking civilians and official Washington clamoring for a response. Finally, in December 2018, Trump gave a withdrawal order. This led to the resignation (or firing) of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, along with Brett McGurk, the former special envoy for Syria. Trump repeated that order in October 2019.

Jeffrey called Trump’s decision to fulfill his campaign promise and remove U.S. troops from Syria “the most controversial thing in my fifty years in government.” Each time Trump gave the withdrawal order, according to Jeffrey, Trump was “convinced to leave a residual force in Syria and the fight continued.” In reality, officials kept troops behind far above the “residual force,” unbeknownst to the president.

“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey bragged. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.”

Officially, America has 200 to 400 troops on the ground in northeast Syria, ostensibly to guard the oil fields in that area held by U.S. Kurdish allies. Anonymous officials say the number is more like 900 today, however, and Jeffrey told Defense One that the number of troops in Syria is “a lot more than” the roughly 200 troops that Trump agreed to leave behind there in October 2019.

Defense One concluded its story by noting that Jeffrey didn’t support Trump but agrees with Trump’s “realpolitik” Middle East foreign policy and efforts to make North Atlantic Treaty Organization members pay more for defense. Jeffrey also said he views Joe Biden favorably. In fact, after signing a letter in 2016 that said Trump was unfit for the presidency, it appears as if Jeffrey still opposes Trump: “I know what I did in 2016, I do not disagree with that,” Jeffrey said.

While Defense One quoted colleagues who said Jeffrey is a “consummate apolitical public servant,” many others were upset by Jeffrey’s admissions. Republican Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, is furious and called for Jeffrey to be “punished.”

Who Has the Power in America?

People in Middle America should be enraged by Jeffrey’s interview. Washington, D.C., should be terrified that the American people might realize people like Jeffrey are only the tip of the iceberg. Jeffrey might be completely right about his view of the world and probably thinks he was doing the right thing, but that doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make Jeffrey’s behavior any less abhorrent.

People didn’t elect Jeffrey to anything. They elected Trump in 2016, and one factor in a bunch of working-class Americans opting for Trump was his promise not to start a new war in the Middle East. A large majority of Americans don’t want U.S. ground troops in Syria. Even a large chunk of Democrats who abhor Trump technically agree with his Syria policy. Labeling Jeffrey a “public servant” is a sick joke. Jeffrey is serving himself, or at least serving his ideology — and he does have an ideology.

Yes, it was Trump’s fault he hired people like John Bolton, a neoconservative ideologue who thought it was his job to stop Trump from following through with his campaign promises. Yet Trump isn’t ideological, and he often filled positions based on the recommendations of those around him, many of whom were card-carrying members of the Republican establishment.

Either way, Trump took a lot of heat for his order to pull troops out of Syria. Mattis resigned, and Democrats, media outlets, and Republicans such as Liz Cheney attacked Trump. Detractors hurled constant accusations that Trump wanting to get U.S. troops out of Syria was yet further proof he was a stooge of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump’s differences on foreign policy compared to the D.C. establishment, including over Syria policy, was even a significant factor in the FBI’s decision to legitimize baseless conspiracy theories that Trump was an agent of Russia.

Let’s step back for a second. Millions of working-class Americans, who also voted for Barack Obama, voted for Trump in 2016 because they wanted a change to policy. Now assume Trump is gone, and, truthfully, not much has changed on a fundamental level for many of these working-class citizens. What will happen when a large chunk of the American people realize their votes don’t affect policy?

Trump was considered norm-breaking and obnoxious to these D.C. insiders. Have these insiders not considered that the same people who sent Trump to the White House to shake things up might eventually opt for someone even more norm-breaking than Trump?

Willis L. Krumholz holds a JD and MBA degree from the University of St. Thomas. The views expressed are those of the author only. You can follow Willis on Twitter @WillKrumholz.

Code Name ‘Project Hanson’: Insider Documents Reveal How Hunter Biden Associates Helped Chinese Military Contractor Acquire Michigan Dual-Use Manufacturer


Reported by PETER SCHWEIZER and SEAMUS BRUNER | 

Read more at https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/23/code-name-project-hanson-insider-documents-reveal-how-hunter-biden-associates-helped-chinese-military-contractor-acquire-michigan-dual-use-manufacturer/

(INSET: Hunter Biden) Passersby look at a life size replica of the Chinese Army Z-10WZ attack helicopter displayed outside the office of China’s main state-owned aircraft maker AVIC (Aviation Industry Corporation), China’s leading aircraft manufacturer in Beijing, China Thursday, July 17, 2014. China’s military spending has increased substantially almost every … Andy Wong/AP, ABC News

AVIC entities have been sanctioned by the United States on five separate occasions since 1993 and the addition to the watch list–a major red flag—occurred less than a year-and-a-half before they co-purchased Henniges with the Biden-led Chinese joint venture known as Bohai Harvest RST (BHR). The fact that CFIUS approved the deal is alarming given that Henniges owns numerous facilities in the United States that are now controlled by a Chinese military front company.

Internal BHR documents show exactly how the Chinese military contractor was able to disguise its ownership via shell corporations and formed a joint-venture with the son of the vice president to facilitate the Chinese takeover of an American dual-use technology supplier. Additional documents suggest that Hunter Biden’s Chinese-backed venture funneled money to an entity controlled by Vanessa Kerry, the daughter of then-Secretary of State John Kerry, just one month before CFIUS approved the takeover. At the time, Secretary Kerry played a lead role on the Obama-Biden CFIUS committee.

When news of the AVIC takeover of Michigan-based manufacturer Henniges Automotive hit the wire, Biden’s associates celebrated, calling the transaction a “proof of concept” for future Chinese acquisitions. “Congratulations!!!! Proof of concept again,” read the subject line of Devon Archer’s email on September 15, 2015. “This is great. Let’s get a letter out to Ambassador Baucus ASAP Archie (an apparent Archer nickname),” Bevan Cooney replied. Cooney is a former Biden associate who is now incarcerated for a separate venture—the tribal bond scheme—involving Biden’s business partners. Cooney has provided investigative journalists Peter Schweizer and Matthew Tyrmand with access to his emails with written authorization.

Cooney’s emails (and their attachments) reveal how Hunter Biden’s BHR viewed the Henniges acquisition—which they code named “Project Hanson”—as a major coup and a model for future BHR “cross-border” investments.

Moments after the deal closed, Archer set to work drafting a letter to U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus (who happened to be a longtime friend of the Biden family). Archer’s letter was an invitation to Ambassador Baucus to attend a banquet celebration for the deal with esteemed guest including BHR’s communist state-owned “strategic partners” and investors:

I am writing to invite you to a cross-border banquet to celebrate our acquisition of Henniges Automotive. We consummated the transaction earlier this month, in conjunction with our strategic partner, AVIC, for $600 million. I have also attached a news article about the transaction.

This milestone marks our first U.S.-based acquisition. Our strategic partners, including AVIC and Sinopec, will be in attendance, as will our investors, including the Bank of China and China Development Bank. We hope to discuss the opportunities and challenges of cross-border investments for Chinese companies in today’s macro environment. A member of our team has also extended an invitation to your economics advisor – Jonathan Fritz – to speak at the seminar.

The strategic partners and investors that Archer listed—particularly Sinopec, the Bank of China, and the China Development Bank—are all State-owned entities and therefore arms of the Chinese Communist Party whose executives/officials, along with BHR, clearly wanted to celebrate the Henniges coup.

Indeed, Hunter Biden’s Chinese business partner were pleased. One internal BHR document states in both English and Mandarin Chinese: “We are incredibly proud of the perseverance, dedication and ingenuity of the Project Hanson team who collectively brought to life the first-born of BHR’s cross-border investment platform, the first of many to come.”

2015 – Bhr Newsletter 2015 Christmas Edition by Breitbart News on Scribd

Roger Robinson, a former senior director for international economic affairs on President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council, claims that “the U.S. government has known for years that AVIC has been helping China’s military and aiding U.S. enemies and as such was sanctioned in the past.” AVIC’s well-known and long-established ties to the Chinese military-industrial complex makes the Obama-Biden administration’s approval “all the more curious.” “This is anything but a benign Chinese enterprise,” said Robinson.

But BHR and AVIC’s Project Hanson helped obfuscate and ameliorate the AVIC connections by creating a complex ownership structure. One internal BHR document reveals precisely how the Chinese military front company was able to disguise its true ownership in a byzantine off-shore structure, presumably obfuscating the fact that the Chinese military was taking over U.S. company whose technology is on the restricted Commerce Control List (“Target” refers to U.S. military supplier Henniges Automotive):

BHR Hunter Biden by Breitbart News on Scribd

Another internal BHR document contains a shocking revelation: Devon Archer facilitated Chinese “support” for an entity called Seed Global Health. Seed Global Health was co-founded and controlled by the daughter of Secretary John Kerry. According to BHR’s December 2015 internal document: “A special shout out to our director and shareholder, Devon Archer, for his involvement with the Seed Global Health non-profit foundation, which works to send medical staff and resources globally to countries in need. BHR will continue to support this and other worthy causes.”

It appears that BHR is referring to a fundraiser hosted by Devon Archer for Secretary Kerry’s daughter and her Seed Global Health organization that occurred on August 16, 2015—less than one month before Kerry’s State Department and the rest of the Obama-Biden CFIUS agencies approved Henniges takeover.  The politically connected Seed Global Health has previously come under fire for receiving more than $9 million in State Department funds without bids or competition and, in 2018, an executive at Seed Global Health was charged by federal prosecutors for violating federal conflict of interest laws and illegal lobbying.

This is a developing story.

Peter Schweizer is the author of Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of Power by America’s Progressive Elite. Seamus Bruner is the author of Fallout: Nuclear Bribes, Russian Spies, and the Washington Lies that Enriched the Clinton and Biden Dynasties.

Exclusive – Watch: Miami Anti-Socialist Caravan Makes History, Attracting 30,000 Vehicles


Reported by FRANCES MARTEL |

Police in Miami, Florida, estimated on Saturday that 30,000 vehicles joined a caravan expressing rejection of communism, socialism, and leftist totalitarian ideologies – an event of historic size and diversity, organizer Orlando Gutiérrez-Boronat told Breitbart News.

Gutiérrez-Boronat – the co-founder of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, a human rights non-profit – joined a coalition of Cuban, Venezuelan, Nicaraguan, Chilean, Uruguayan, and other groups to create a “patriotic committee” responsible for the event. The caravan doubled as both a public display of rejection to left-wing totalitarianism and a “drive-in” seminar on the history of communism – participants tuned into Miami’s 670 AM La Poderosa to listen to experts, including this Breitbart News journalist, discuss the destructive history and legacy of communism around the world.

Gutiérrez-Boronat told Breitbart News that the success of the event – particularly in attracting people of all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds – was unprecedented in decades of activism against socialism.

Caravan against socialism and communism in Miami, Florida, October 10, 2020. Picture courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate

Caravan against socialism and communism in Miami, Florida, October 10, 2020. Picture courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate

“This community is more united than ever,” Gutiérrez-Boronat said, describing the crowd at the event as “Cubans of all makes and models, from el exilio historico [the historic Cuban exile community] to recent arrivals, young and old; a strong Nicaraguan presence; some Venezuelans and Colombians; a Puerto Rican contingent.”

Caravan against socialism and communism in Miami, Florida, October 10, 2020. A car drives by waving Puerto Rican flags. (Picture courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate)

Caravan against socialism and communism in Miami, Florida, October 10, 2020. A composite flag featuring the U.S. and the seal of the Republic of Cuba. (Picture courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate)

Caravan against socialism and communism in Miami, Florida, October 10, 2020. / Picture courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate

Participants waved a wide variety of Latin American flags; photos show the presence of the flags of anti-communist bastions Taiwan and Hong Kong as well, and a rainbow flag representing anti-communist LGBTQ people – a prominent community among Cuban exiles given that late dictator Fidel Castro forced suspected and openly LGBTQ people into labor camps. Some participants also brought a Welsh flag.

Gutiérrez-Boronat added that the size of the event – according to Miami police, he said, 30,000 vehicles participated, an unprecedented number – was just part of why it was different from other political moments in the past.

“It’s intergenerational because it spans different times of arrival (waves of migration) … it’s focused on anti-communism and anti-socialism,” he explained. “There is clear leadership and strategy. … All the main organizations are working in the same direction.”

The organizer hailed the event as representative of the “organic unity of a plural community unified against communism, que no le van a hacer cuentos [who won’t be fooled].”

While the caravan was a non-partisan event, many participants took the opportunity to promote President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, waving Trump flags, wearing the now-iconic “Make America Great Again” cap, and dancing to the surprise salsa hit Trump Song by Los 3 de la Habana.

This led some media outlets to falsely identify the event as a “Trump caravan,” which Gutiérrez-Boronat rejected.

Caravan against socialism and communism in Miami, Florida, October 10, 2020. / Picture courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate

Caravan against socialism and communism in Miami, Florida, October 10, 2020. / Picture courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate

Not only were supporters of Democrat Party candidate Joe Biden welcome at the caravan – one, Gutiérrez-Boronat said, showed up holding a Biden sign. “Nobody bothered him,” he noted.

A small group of “less than ten” socialists also showed up, Gutiérrez-Boronat said, but left after their brief presence went largely ignored. Miami police reported no violence or significant disturbances.

Outside of Miami, the caravan generated two sister events in Uruguay and Chile. Chile, in particular, has suffered a wave of violent leftist rioting throughout the past year that has left much of its capital, Santiago, destroyed – prompting pushback from the family-oriented citizens and those concerned that nefarious leftist elements on the continent, most prominently in Venezuela, were planning an expansion into their country.

Some Cubans on the island also attempted to form a “caravan” of their own; any expression of anti-socialist or anti-communist sentiment in Cuba is a crime.

Journalists Esteban Rodríguez and Héctor Luis Valdés Cocho held up signs from their balconies reading “no more repression, no more fines, down with communism,” resulting in the arrival of six state security agents, two police cars, and two police motorcycles to their homes to intimidate them into silence.

National Hispanic news outlets largely ignored the event, according to an analysis by Newsbusters, though some assigned it to local affiliates:

Telemundo did send a local crew, and filed a report on the local Miami affiliate’s website. But so far, no video of the report on the caravan has been uploaded to social media where it can be easily shared by viewers and members of the community. But even Telemundo’s meager effort is far better than Univision’s outright omission- as if this massive anti-communist caravan never even happened.

Caravan against socialism and communism in Miami, Florida, October 10, 2020…. Picture courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate

At least one local news outlet also attempted to claim that only “hundreds” attended the event, while also reporting the presence of 30,000 vehicles, bizarrely suggesting the majority of the vehicles in the parade were self-driving.

All photos published courtesy of Daniel Quiróz/Cuban Democratic Directorate.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

Democrats’ ‘War Game’ for Election Includes West Coast Secession, Possible Civil War


Reported by JOEL B. POLLAK | 

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2020/08/02/democrats-war-game-for-election-includes-west-coast-secession-possible-civil-war-john-podesta/

Podesta and Biden (Alex Wong / Getty)

However, buried near the end of Smith’s column is a report that Democrats have participated in a “war game” in which they considered several possible outcomes of the election. In one scenario, John Podesta — the former chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and a leading figure in party circles — played former Vice President Joe Biden, and refused to concede the election.

The result: the threat of secession by the entire West Coast, followed by the possible intervention of the U.S. armed forces:

But conveniently, a group of former top government officials called the Transition Integrity Project actually gamed four possible scenarios, including one that doesn’t look that different from 2016: a big popular win for Mr. Biden, and a narrow electoral defeat, presumably reached after weeks of counting the votes in Pennsylvania. For their war game, they cast John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, in the role of Mr. Biden. They expected him, when the votes came in, to concede, just as Mrs. Clinton had.

But Mr. Podesta, playing Mr. Biden, shocked the organizers by saying he felt his party wouldn’t let him concede. Alleging voter suppression, he persuaded the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan to send pro-Biden electors to the Electoral College.

In that scenario, California, Oregon, and Washington then threatened to secede from the United States if Mr. Trump took office as planned. The House named Mr. Biden president; the Senate and White House stuck with Mr. Trump. At that point in the scenario, the nation stopped looking to the media for cues, and waited to see what the military would do.

Notably, on Election Night in 2016, Podesta publicly refused to concede the election to President Donald Trump.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

China Orders Christians to Take Down Images of Jesus from Their Homes


Reported by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. | 
URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2020/07/20/china-orders-christians-to-take-down-images-of-jesus-from-homes/

Christian / AP Photo

Chinese communist authorities have ordered poor Christian villagers to remove Christian images from their homes and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping or risk losing their welfare benefits.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has continued its program of “Sinicization” of religion by channeling religious fervor in the country toward the Party rather than God, the Christian Post reported this weekend.

In May, an official in the eastern province of Shandong raided the home of a local Christian and hung pictures of Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping on the wall in place of Christian images.

“These are the greatest gods. If you want to worship somebody, they are the ones,” the official told them.

This year, China’s “social credit system” was scheduled to become fully functional, assigning points to each individual based on how much the Communist Party approves of them and using their rating to control their behavior and access to certain benefits..

“There are fears that China’s new ‘social credit system’ – designed to reward good citizenship and punish bad – will be used to discriminate against Christians,” wrote the Catholic charity organization Aid to the Church in Need in a 2019 report.

The fears are tied to “cash rewards for those who inform on underground churches and other ‘unofficial’ places of worship,” indicating that the government might also reward the persecution of Christians with high “social credit” scores.

According to the religious liberty magazine Bitter Winter, the CCP is now using state welfare benefits as leverage to coerce people into worshiping the Party rather than Jesus. In April, for instance, party officials visited the homes of Christians in Linfen, in the northern province of Shanxi, ordering those who receive welfare payments from the government to remove crosses, Christian symbols, and images in their homes and replace them with portraits of China’s communist leaders. The officials threatened the Christians that non-compliance with the order would result in suspension of their welfare subsidies.

“All impoverished households in the town were told to display Mao Zedong images,” a local house church preacher said. “The government is trying to eliminate our belief and wants to become God instead of Jesus.”

Officials have often made good on their threats, ruthlessly suspending benefits to Christians who fail to give up their devotions. Communist authorities cancelled the government subsidies of one elderly Christian woman from Shangqiu city in Henan after they found an image of a cross posted on the door of her home.

“They tore it down immediately,” she said. “Afterward, both my minimum living allowance and poverty alleviation subsidy were canceled. I am being driven to a dead end. I have diabetes and need injections regularly.”

Something similar occurred in in Xinyu city in the southeastern province of Jiangxi, when officials canceled the minimum living subsidy and a monthly disability allowance of 100 RMB (about $14) to a disabled Christian who disobeyed government orders and continued to attend worship services.

Another Christian living in Jiangxi’s Poyang county — a woman in her 80s — reportedly stopped receiving government aid after she said “Thank God” after receiving her monthly 200 RMB (about $28) subsidy in mid-January.

“They expected me to praise the kindness of the Communist Party instead,” she said.

In another case, local officials entered the home of a member of a state-sponsored Three-Self church and tore down all Christian images, including a calendar with an image of Jesus, and posted a portrait of Mao Zedong instead.

“Impoverished religious households can’t receive money from the state for nothing — they must obey the Communist Party for the money they receive,” the official declared.

Report: Acting DNI Grenell Declassifies List of Obama Officials Involved in Flynn ‘Unmasking’


Reported by JOSHUA CAPLAN | 

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/12/report-acting-dni-grenell-declassifies-list-of-obama-officials-involved-in-flynn-unmasking/

President Barack Obama confers with Samantha Power, left, Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs, and Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, before they attended a wreath laying ceremony at the memorial for United Nations staff killed in Iraq at the U.N. Headquarters in New York, N.Y., on … / White House Photo / Pete Souza

Grenell brought the list of officials to the Department of Justice last week, an unnamed official told the news outlet. No further details of the intelligence official’s visit to the Justice Department are known.

In 2017, former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice reportedly told the House Intelligence Committee she “unmasked” several Trump associates to find out why United Arab Emirates’ crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, visited New York without notifying the Obama administration.

Samantha Power, Obama-era U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), is also believed to have made up to 260 requests to “unmask” U.S. citizens tied into surveillance of non-U.S. citizens, according to Fox News. She reportedly requested information seen in the days leading up to Trump’s inauguration. Then-Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) later revealed Power testified that a portion of the “unmasking” requests made in her name were made by others.

ABC News’ report comes after the Justice Department dropped its criminal case against Flynn, who plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI regarding his contacts with Kislyak. The decision to drop its case comes after handwritten notes compiled by FBI officials questioned whether the “goal” was “to get [the Trump official] to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

Ahead of the filing’s release, prosecutor Brandon Van Grack moved to withdraw from the case.

In an interview with CBS News, Attorney General William Barr defended the decision, saying he was “doing the law’s bidding.”

“A crime cannot be established here. They did not have a basis for a counterintelligence investigation against Flynn at that stage,” Barr said in reference to the FBI.

“People sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes,” he added.

Newly released documents reveal Obama was aware of the details of Flynn’s intercepted December 2016 telephone calls with Kislyak, which purportedly surprised top DOJ officials such as then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

Breitbart News reported:

The documents from the government’s motion to dismiss their case against Flynn show, however, that at a January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting with then-Vice President Joe Biden, then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-FBI Director James Comey, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, Obama had asked Comey and Yates to “stay behind.”

Obama told them he had “learned of the information about Flynn” and his conversation with Kislyak, where they discussed sanctions his administration had levied against Russia. (A memo penned by then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice also showed that Biden stayed behind as well.)

Obama “specified he did not want any additional information on the matter, but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently, given the information.”

In a leaked Friday call, Obama said the DOJ’s decision to drop its case against Flynn puts the “rule of law is at risk.”

“The news over the last 24 hours I think has been somewhat downplayed — about the Justice Department dropping charges against Michael Flynn,” Obama said during a virtual discussion with members of the Obama Alumni Association, according to an audio call obtained by Yahoo News.

“The fact that there is no precedent that anybody can find for someone who has been charged with perjury just getting off scot-free. That’s the kind of stuff where you begin to get worried that basic — not just institutional norms — but our basic understanding of rule of law is at risk. And when you start moving in those directions, it can accelerate pretty quickly as we’ve seen in other places.”

On Sunday, President Trump posted several messages stating Obama had been “caught” surveilling him and signaled the matter could be investigated.

“He got caught, OBAMAGATE!” the president tweeted.


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

He got caught, OBAMAGATE! https://twitter.com/mikandynothem/status/1259556010408075264 

Michael Nöthem@mikandynothem

Barack Hussain Obama is the first Ex-President to ever speak against his successor, which was long tradition of decorum and decency.
Should anyone really be surprised?#TrumpsJealousOfObama? I SERIOUSLY doubt it…#ObamaGate #MAGA#KAG #FoxNews

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“The biggest political crime in American history, by far!” he wrote in another message.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The biggest political crime in American history, by far! https://twitter.com/bucksexton/status/1259241405274341383 

Buck Sexton

@BuckSexton

If you read a news story about some European country where, after a fair election, the outgoing president used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration, you’d be appalled

It happened here, and half the country thinks it was fine

33.4K people are talking about this


Report: Third Russian Health Worker Falls from Window After Criticizing Coronavirus Response


Reported by BEN KEW | 

URL of the originating web site: https://www.breitbart.com/health/2020/05/04/report-third-russian-health-worker-falls-from-window-after-criticizing-coronavirus-response/

In this photo taken on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, a medical worker puts on protective gear in order to assist coronavirus patients at the intensive care unit of Vinogradov City Clinical Hospital in Moscow, Russia. Reports of Russian medical workers becoming infected with the coronavirus are emerging almost daily as … Pavel Golovkin/AP Photo

The Moscow Times reports that 37-year-old Alexander Shulepov fell from the second floor of a hospital in the rural Voronezh and suffered a skull fracture, which has left him in critical condition. Voronezh is located 500 kilometers south of Moscow; he was being treated for coronavirus symptoms. Police claim to be investigating his fall.

Last month, Shulepov and his colleague Alexander Kosyakin filmed a video complaining that authorities in the Novaya Usman village hospital were forcing him the work despite the fact he had tested positive for the virus. The complaint occurred after reports surfaced that the Kremlin recently forced third-year medical students to work during the pandemic or face academic and professional consequences.

Days later, he reportedly released another video walking back his comments, arguing that he was in an “emotional state.” The video also featured Igor Potanin, the head doctor of the Novousmanskaya hospital, who insisted his medical staff were being provided with sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE).

“I spoke about this to the department’s employees: I won’t let anyone go to outpatients or inpatients if we don’t have enough means of protection, I told them I’d go myself there, but I will not send anyone,” Potanin said in the video.

In a statement to CNN, Kosyakin confirmed details about his colleague’s condition.

“[Shulepov] is an intensive care unit, as far as I know in a serious condition, last time I spoke to him was on the 30th of April, we checked in with each other,” Kosyakin told CNN. “He felt fine, he was getting ready to get discharged from the hospital … and all of a sudden this happened, it’s not clear why and what for, so many questions that I don’t even have the answer to.”

Kosyakin reportedly faces criminal charges for violating Russia’s recently passed misinformation law, which carries prison sentences of up to five years for spreading “fake news” about the ongoing pandemic. Russian authorities have reported around 145,000 cases of the virus so far but just 1,356 deaths, an abnormally low number compared with other countries.

Shulepov is the third doctor to have reportedly plunged from a hospital building in the past two weeks, with the other two both dying of their injuries. The most recent of these victims was Elena Nepomnyashchaya, the acting head doctor of a hospital in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, who died days after an alleged fall from a window at the hospital she was in charge of. She had recently complained about her staff being forced to treat coronavirus patients without sufficient PPE.

Dr. Natalya Lebedeva — the head of the emergency medical service at Star City, where the majority of Russia’s cosmonauts are trained — allegedly committed suicide on April 24 by jumping from the building after failing to prevent an outbreak. The hospital called her death a “tragic accident.”

Falling or defenestration from buildings appear to have become a signature manner of death for numerous government dissenters in Russia over the past decade. Before the recent spate of falls, the latest case was that of the 32-year-old investigative journalist Maxim Borodin, thrown out of a fourth-floor window in April 2018 as he was investigating Russia’s military involvement in Syria.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com.

Flashback: Adam Schiff Hijacked House Intelligence Hearing on China to Subpoena a Russian Translator


Reported by KRISTINA WONG | 

URL of the originating website: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/04/19/flashback-adam-schiff-hijacked-intel-hearing-china-subpoena-russian-translator/

Schiff / Drew Angerer /Getty Images

“The House Republicans have been running an investigation into China on the Intelligence Committee for many, many years…so we’ve been on this for awhile, and remember, we were dealing with the Russian hoax in Congress at the same time the House Republicans were trying to run an investigation into China,” he said on Fox and Friends.

“And the Democrats — finally we had a public hearing on this — and they hijacked the hearing to try to subpoena whatever Russian of the week they were looking after. So this has been a challenge for us, to get Russia on the forefront, and now, both Republicans and Democrats realize this,” he said.

Nunes was referring to the July 19, 2018, hearing on China held by Nunes, when he was the chairman of the Intelligence Committee. The hearing’s topic was “China’s threat to American government and private sector research and innovation leadership.” During the hearing, then-Ranking Schiff began his opening remarks, not on China, but with his concerns about President Trump meeting alone with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, earlier that month, and then raised a motion to subpoena the interpreter who attended the meeting. The hearing then devolved into confusion over whether Schiff was able to raise that motion, forcing Nunes to call for a recess. The witnesses — four top China experts — were left to talk to committee staff and among themselves, as Breitbart News reported at the time.

After the recess, Republicans voted to table the motion. Schiff demanded a recorded vote.

“Schiff has decided to turn this hearing into a Russia clown show,” a house staffer said.

Schiff, or his staff, later tweeted about his failed attempt to subpoena the interpreter at the China hearing.

“BREAKING: @RepSwalwell and I just made a motion in House Intel Committee to subpoena the American interpreter during the summit — the only witness to Trump’s meeting with Putin. This is an extraordinary remedy, but Trump’s actions necessitate it. Republicans voted it down.”

Republicans also say Democrats’ singular focus on impeaching Trump also distracted Congress earlier this year, when the coronavirus spread. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) scheduled a vote on impeachment articles on Trump the same day the first person from Wuhan, China, arrived to the United States, on January 15. She passed out commemorative signing pens and encouraged Americans to watch the House impeachment managers bring the articles over to the Senate.

The White House stood up its coronavirus task force on January 29, and ordered a ban on travel from China on January 31, the same day the World Health Organization acknowledged that the coronavirus was a global health emergency. However, the Senate impeachment trial continued until February 5.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.

Chinese Restaurant Hangs Banner ‘Celebrating the Epidemic in the U.S.’


URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2020/03/26/chinese-restaurant-hangs-banner-celebrating-coronavirus-epidemic-u-s/

Chinese state media confirmed on Wednesday the legitimacy of an image circulating online of a Shenyang, China, restaurant banner celebrating Chinese coronavirus deaths in the United States. / Weibo

Chinese state media confirmed on Wednesday the legitimacy of an image circulating online of a Shenyang, China, restaurant banner celebrating Chinese coronavirus deaths in the United States.

The Global Times, a state-run publication that has run conspiracy theories accusing the U.S. Army of artificially engineering the Wuhan virus and unleashing it as an attack on the Chinese state, identified the offending restaurant as “Mother Yang’s Porridge Restaurant” and claimed that police arrested the manager responsible for putting up a banner apparently wishing for the pandemic China allowed to occur to do as much damage in the United States and Japan as possible.

“Celebrating the epidemic in the U.S. and wishing coronavirus a nice trip to Japan,” a large red banner over the restaurant read, according to the Global Times’ translation. Other translations note that the Chinese characters also insult Japan as “little” and hope the virus spread “forever after that [arrival into Japan]”:

Jennifer Zeng 曾錚@jenniferatntd

Banner at restaurant in ruled says: “Congratulations on the in the US! We wish the epidemic in dwarf Japan will last forever and ever!”
What do you think? I call it anti-humanity. Do these kinds of people have the right to protest again “racism”?

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The newspaper identified the manager as a 30-something worker who had been there for some time and claimed that the banner was only up for about 90 minutes before police arrived at the scene. As China does not allow independent media outlets to operate within its borders, there are no independent reports confirming that this was the case. The news service UPI identified the manager as having the last name “Hui,” but not much more is known about the person or his or her fate after being detained by Chinese police.

The banner appeared to celebrate the growing numbers of deaths in both Japan and America. At press time, Japan has documented 1,307 cases of Chinese coronavirus nationwide and 45 deaths. In the United States, which has a much larger population than Japan, medical experts have logged more than 69,000 coronavirus cases and 1,046 deaths. Both nations are attempting to limit social contact to slow the spread of the highly contagious Chinese virus, though America has currently taken much more extreme measures in banning many American businesses from operating, triggering record numbers of jobless claims nationwide.

While the Global Times wrote of the celebration of American deaths on the part of Mother Yang’s, it has participated in the evidence-free accusations that Washington is responsible for the pandemic. An article in the state-run publication this month claimed that a U.S. Army facility in Fort Detrick, Maryland, was responsible for engineering a new form of coronavirus to be more contagious and difficult to treat. Chinese government officials also propagated the conspiracy theory. In the United States, Chinese Foreign Ministry official Zhao Lijian wrote on Twitter, “It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan.”

The Communist Party bans citizens who are not high-ranking Party members from using Twitter. Twitter has refused to hold Chinese officials to its terms of service about sharing dangerous disinformation.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly condemned Beijing for baselessly accusing the United States of fabricating the disease.

“My concern is that this cover-up, this disinformation that the Chinese Communist Party is engaged in, is still denying the world the information it needs so that we can prevent further cases or something like this from recurring again,” Pompeo said this week. “The disinformation campaign from Russia and Iran as well as China continues. They’re talking about it coming from the U.S. Army, and they’re saying maybe it began in Italy, all things to deflect responsibility.”

The Chinese coronavirus originated in Wuhan, central China, in November. Chinese officials did nothing about the growing outbreak for months until privately alerting the World Health Organization (WHO) in January and shutting down a wild meat market that it believed was the origin location for the outbreak, as coronaviruses tend to infect humans after living in animals through consumption. Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, is home to 11 million people and to China’s Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory, which is licensed to handle the world’s most dangerous pathogens. The Chinese government boasted that the facility identified the Wuhan virus as a new pathogen at a breakneck pace.

That month – after January 20, when China finally told the world it had identified a new virus – the WHO told the world that, according to Chinese scientists, the coronavirus was not contagious from human to human. Scientists now know that this was not true, and the Chinese coronavirus is highly contagious, thus allegedly necessitating the shutdown of nearly the entirety of the American economy.

A February study also found evidence that the virus did not originate at the shut-down meat market, also raising questions as to China’s initial response to what is now a pandemic.

A study by the University of Southhampton found this month that had the Communist Party not detained doctors warning in December and January about a contagious disease spreading in Wuhan and otherwise silenced evidence about the outbreak, about 95 percent of the world’s coronavirus cases could have been prevented.

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

Joe Biden Ducks Questions About Conflict of Interest in Ukraine


Written by Joel B. Pollak | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/01/26/joe-biden-ducks-questions-about-conflict-of-interest-in-ukraine/

Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks after exiting the stage at the Iowa Federation Labor Convention on August 21, 2019 in Altoona, Iowa. Candidates had 10 minutes each to address union members during the convention. The 2020 Democratic presidential Iowa caucuses will take place on Monday, February … Joshua Lott/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden claimed in an interview set to air Sunday morning that no one had been able to point to anything he had done wrong in Ukraine.

Biden told Manchester, New Hampshire’s WMUR-9:

My case has already been made. There’s not a single solitary person in this administration who said I did anything other than my job. Not anybody in the United States of America that has been involved at all. Not anybody abroad … I did my job, and I did it really well. The problem is here, this is all about Trump’s ability to take the focus off.

Biden’s claim contradicts the testimony of several of the witnesses Democrats themselves called in the House impeachment inquiry.

George Kent, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the European and Eurasian Bureau at the State Department, told the House Intelligence Committee that Biden had an apparent conflict of interest because his son, Hunter Biden, had been appointed to a well-compensated position on the board of a Ukrainian gas company, Burisma, that was widely perceived to be corrupt.

Kent said that he brought the issue up in 2015: “I raised my concerns [with the vice president’s staff] that I had heard that Hunter Biden was on the board of a company owned by somebody that the U.S. Government had spent money trying to get tens of millions of dollars back and that could create the perception of a conflict of interest.”

He added that the vice president’s office had said that Biden was too busy dealing with the tragic death of his other son, Beau. But nothing was done afterwards, either.

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch told the committee that she had been specifically briefed by the Obama administration before her confirmation hearing not to answer questions about Biden’s conflict of interest, but to direct all questions to the vice president’s office, instead.

Reporters had first raised the question of Biden’s apparent conflict of interest in 2014, after Hunter Biden’s appointment, but nothing was apparently done about it.

Biden himself admitted last week that the arrangement “looked bad.”

The full interview airs Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. on WMUR-9.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Iran Bulldozed Plane Crash Site Before Outside Investigators Arrived


Written by John Hayward | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2020/01/10/iran-bulldozed-plane-crash-site-before-outside-investigators-arrived/

Rescue teams are seen on January 8, 2020 at the scene of a Ukrainian airliner that crashed shortly after take-off near Imam Khomeini airport in the Iranian capital Tehran. – Search-and-rescue teams were combing through the smoking wreckage of the Boeing 737 flight from Tehran to Kiev but officials said … AKBAR TAVAKOLI/IRNA/AFP via Getty Images

CBS News reported on Friday that Iranian “scavengers” have “scrubbed” the site where a Ukrainian passenger jet came down outside Tehran before outside investigators could examine the evidence. “Virtually all debris” was removed before outsiders were allowed on the scene.

While CBS primarily complained about “scavengers” randomly plucking debris from the site and highlighted the inexplicable lack of security, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell called the Iranian regime out for deliberately destroying evidence, linking to German-language reports about bulldozers on the scene:

CBS reports indicated large portions of the downed aircraft’s fuselage have been removed from the site, which would be difficult to explain as the work of random scavengers rushing to grab a few souvenirs.

Iranian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Hamid Baeidinejad on Friday denied bulldozers were clearing the crash site, even though they have been captured in photographs and video recordings.

Furthermore, Iranian media outlets have posted photos of objects removed from the crash site and neatly arranged for convenient display.

At a news conference on Friday, Iranian officials displayed what they claimed was one of the “black box” flight recorders recovered from the aircraft and said it could take “one or two months” to recover its data, while a full investigation of the incident could take “one or two years” to complete.

The regime originally said it would not share the black boxes with U.S. officials or the American manufacturer of the plane, Boeing, but later it appeared to back away from that position and indicated it might be willing to share the boxes, or at least the data it claims to extract from them, with foreign investigators.

“Generally speaking, Iran has the potential and know-how to decode the black box. Everybody knows that,” Iranian Civil Aviation Authority chief Ali Abedzadeh boasted to CNN on Thursday, perhaps sensitive to how Iran’s intransigence might give the contrary impression.

“The black box of this very Ukrainian Boeing 737 is damaged. Ukrainian Aviation experts arrived here in Tehran today. We had a session with them. From tomorrow they will start decoding the data,” Abedzadeh said. He did not elaborate on what “very Ukrainian” means or explain how Ukrainian technicians might have altered the flight recorder in a way that makes it difficult to read.

Intelligence agencies around the world announced on Thursday that the plane was very likely destroyed by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, specifically a Russian-built SA-15. U.S. officials implied satellite intelligence helped them reach this determination quickly. Some video footage leaked out of Iran appears to show an object rising rapidly from the ground and impacting the plane, causing it to burst into flames. The regime in Tehran continues to insist the plane crashed due to a mysterious mechanical failure.

Report: Arson Epidemic, Not Climate Change, Behind Australia’s Bushfires


Reported by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D. | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/environment/2020/01/07/report-arson-epidemic-not-climate-change-behind-australias-bushfires/

EAST GIPPSLAND, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 04: Fire crews put out spot fires on January 04, 2020 in Sarsfield, Australia. Two people are dead and 28 remain missing following bushfires across the East Gippsland area, with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews declaring a state of disaster in the region. Thousands of people … Darrian Traynor/Getty

Australian law enforcement has arrested over 180 people for arson in connection with the nation’s raging bushfires, as alarmists try to pin the blazes on “climate change.”

All of the 183 alleged arsonists have been arrested since the start of this year’s bushfire season, the Australian reported Tuesday, adding that 29 fires were deliberately started in the Shoalhaven region of southeast New South Wales (NSW) in just three months.

Drawing on data from NSW Bureau of Crime and Statistics and Research, the newspaper reported that “183 people have been charged or cautioned for bushfire-related offences since November 8, and 24 arrested for deliberately starting bushfires.”

The extent of the arson is vast, as police have arrested people for lighting bushfires across Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania in the past few months, police data reveals. In Queensland alone, 101 people have been detained for setting fires in the bush, 32 adults and 69 juveniles, police noted.

According to professor Janet Stanley of Melbourne University, the arsonists are typically young males, aged 12 to 24, or older men in their 60s.

Meanwhile, alarmists have been excitedly pointing to the bush fires as evidence of a worldwide climate emergency caused by fossil fuel emissions.

A Royal Australian Navy MH-60R Seahawk ‘Romeo’ Helicopter departs HMAS Adelaide during Operation Bushfire Assist. Army Reserve forces and other specialist capabilities have been called in to help with firefighting efforts across Australia, along with extra Defence ships and helicopters. 14 people have now died in the fires in NSW, Victoria and South Australia since New Year’s Eve. (Australian Department of Defence via Getty Images)

On New Year’s day, the Guardian published an essay by Michael Mann, arguably the world’s preeminent climate alarmist, who said he was “watching climate change in action” while on holiday in Australia.

In his article “Australia, your country is burning – dangerous climate change is here with you now,” Mann claimed he was witnessing the devastating effects of climate change “first hand.”

Best known for his debunked “hockey stick” graph showing supposedly unprecedented 20th-century global warming after centuries of allegedly stable temperatures, Mann wrote that instead of “vast expanses of rainforest framed by distant blue-tinged mountain ranges,” he looked out into “smoke-filled valleys, with only the faintest ghosts of distant ridges and peaks in the background.”

“The brown skies I observed in the Blue Mountains this week are a product of human-caused climate change,” Mann asserted.

“The warming of our planet – and the changes in climate associated with it – are due to the fossil fuels we’re burning: oil, whether at midnight or any other hour of the day, natural gas, and the biggest culprit of all, coal,” he declared.

Australians “need only wake up in the morning, turn on the television, read the newspaper or look out the window to see what is increasingly obvious to many – for Australia, dangerous climate change is already here,” Mann stated.

“Australia is experiencing a climate emergency. It is literally burning,” he said.

Well, burning, yes. Man-made, yes.

But it’s called arson, not climate change.

PHOTOS: The Images That Defined the World in 2019


Written by Frances Martel | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2019/12/31/photos-the-images-that-defined-the-world-in-2019/

Venezuela’s National Assembly head Juan Guaido declares himself the country’s “acting president” during a mass opposition rally against leader Nicolas Maduro, on the anniversary of a 1958 uprising that overthrew military dictatorship in Caracas on January 23, 2019. – Moments earlier, the loyalist-dominated Supreme Court ordered a criminal investigation of … FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images

The end of the decade brought with it a tumultuous 2019 — a year defined by global protests, shock election results, surprise heroes, unthinkable tragedies, and new rays of hope.

The world’s authoritarians used their wealth to display their typical egomania, popping up in celebrity weddings, on mountaintops, and in larger-than-life iconography (paid for by the people, of course). Oppressed people flooded their streets by the millions demanding a better future. Young new world leaders, often by surprise, assumed the direction of their scarred, turbulent countries.

Below, in no particular order, some of the most moving, iconic, baffling, newsworthy, and generally notable images from around the world in the past year.

AFP

Sitcom star Volodymyr Zelensky celebrates being elected to the presidency of Ukraine on April 21 after playing a schoolteacher who suddenly becomes president of Ukraine in the hit comedy Servant of the People. Zelensky was elected on the back of nationwide discontent with decades of corrupt establishment rule and insufficient resistance to the Russian invasion of Ukraine’s eastern territories. Zelensky has now become a key figure in the Democrats’ attempt to remove President Donald Trump from power without electing a Democrat. (Photo: AFP)

Kiyoshi Ota/Getty, West Point Grey Academy

Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, attends a working lunch on the first day of the G20 summit on June 28, 2019, in Osaka, Japan. Inset: a photo that surfaced in September of Trudeau in “brownface” at an “Arabian Nights” theme party in 2001. The photo surfaced shortly before Canada’s national election but failed to unseat Trudeau, despite the prime minister admitting he had worn blackface so many times he could not remember them all. (Kiyoshi Ota – Pool/Getty Images. Inset: unknown, released via Time)

The Associated Press

French President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with American President Donald Trump at the G& Summit in August. Macron attempted to organize a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (Photo via Associated Press)

A Lebanese protester offers sweets to people during ongoing demonstrations to demand better living conditions and the ouster of a cast of politicians who have monopolised power and influence for decades, on October 21, 2019 north of Beirut.(Joseph Eid/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan serves as best man to soccer star Mesut Ozil at the latter’s wedding in Istanbul. (Photo via AFP)

Venezuela’s National Assembly head Juan Guaido takes the oath of office of the presidency, following the illegal “inauguration” of socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro, on January 23, 2019. (Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images)

TOPSHOT - Anti-government protesters start a large fire in a staircase at the main entrance that leads into the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in the Hung Hom district of Hong Kong on November 18, 2019. - Hong Kong police early November 18 warned for the first time that they may use "live rounds" after pro-democracy protesters fired arrows and threw petrol bombs at officers at a beseiged university campus, as the crisis engulfing the city veered deeper into danger. Protests have tremored through the global financial hub since June, with many in the city of 7.5 million people venting fury at eroding freedoms under Chinese rule. (Photo by Ye Aung Thu / AFP) (Photo by YE AUNG THU/AFP via Getty Images)

The aftermath of police raiding Hong Kong Polytechnic University on November 18, 2019. Hong Kong police early November 18 warned for the first time that they may use “live rounds” after pro-democracy protesters fired arrows and threw petrol bombs at officers at a besieged university campus, as the crisis engulfing the city veered deeper into danger. (Photo by YE AUNG THU/AFP via Getty Images)

Supporters of the Pakistani religious party Jamaat-i-Islami, chant slogans for ousted former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Hyderabad, Pakistan. Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president ousted by the military in 2013, collapsed during a trial session in Cairo on Monday and died. (AP Photo/Pervez Masih)

Supporters of the Pakistani religious party Jamaat-i-Islami, chant slogans for ousted former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Hyderabad, Pakistan. Tuesday, June 18, 2019. Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president ousted by the military in 2013, collapsed during a trial session in Cairo on Monday and died. (AP Photo/Pervez Masih)

NEGOMBO, SRI LANKA - APRIL 24: A little girl throws earth on a coffin during the funeral of a person killed in the Easter Sunday attack on St Sebastian's Church, on April 24, 2019 in Negombo, Sri Lanka. At least 321 people were killed and 500 people injured after coordinated attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in and around Colombo as well as at Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. According to reports, the Islamic State group have claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the attacks while investigations show the attacks were carried out in retaliation for the Christchurch mosque shootings last month. Police have detained 40 suspects so far in connection with the suicide bombs while the government blame the attacks on local Islamist group National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ). (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

A little girl throws earth on a coffin during the funeral of a person killed in the Easter Sunday attack on St Sebastian’s Church, on April 24, 2019, in Negombo, Sri Lanka. At least 321 people were killed and 500 people injured after coordinated attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday in and around Colombo as well as at Batticaloa in Sri Lanka. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Church members carry placards reading "self defence is now the answer" "the jihad will not work", as they take part in a protest against the killing of people by suspected herdsmen in Makurdi, north-central Nigeria, on April 29, 2018. - On April 24, 2018, at least 18 people, including two Catholic priests, were killed in an attack on a church near the state capital Makurdi that was blamed on herdsmen. Eleven ethnic Hausa traders were killed in Makurdi in retaliation. Thousands of people have been killed over decades in clashes between cattle herders and farmers over land and water, with the conflict polarised along religious and ethnic lines. (Photo by EMMY IBU / AFP) (Photo credit should read EMMY IBU/AFP/Getty Images)

Church members carry placards reading “self-defence is now the answer” “the jihad will not work,” as they take part in a protest against the killing of people by suspected herdsmen in Makurdi, north-central Nigeria, on April 29, 2018. On April 24, 2018, at least 18 people, including two Catholic priests, were killed in an attack on a church near the state capital Makurdi that was blamed on herdsmen. (Emmy Ibu/AFP/Getty Images)

Rodong Sinmun/North Korea

“Kim Jong Un, the great leader of our revolution who opens up the period of a great leap for the development of the revolution, personally left the sacred trace in the revolutionary battle sites in Mt Paektu area, the source of the lifeline of the revolution and inexhaustible patriotism, through knee-high virgin snow.” (Photo, caption via North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun)

The Associated Press

An anti-government protester waves a national flag during a demonstration in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. Iraqi security forces fired live bullets into the air and used tear gas against a few hundred protesters in central Baghdad on Thursday, hours after a curfew was announced in the Iraqi capital on the heels of two days of deadly violence that gripped the country amid anti-government protests that killed several people in two days. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

People attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2019, to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing. - The semi-autonomous financial hub has hosted an annual vigil every year since tanks and soldiers smashed into protesters near Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989 -- an illustration of the city's unusual freedoms and vibrant political scene. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo credit should read )

People attend a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2019, to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing, China. Protests against the Chinese regime would begin shortly after this display and have yet to cease. (Photo via Philip Fong/AFP)

The Associated Press

Police shelter behind a hospital sign, as they guard a hospital in Butembo, Congo, on Saturday, April 20, 2019, after militia members attacked an Ebola treatment center in the city’s Katwa district overnight. Violence has deeply complicated efforts to contain what has become the second-deadliest Ebola virus outbreak in history. (AP Photo/Al-Hadji Kudra Maliro)

Deputy Senate speaker Jeanine Anez, raises the four canonical gospels in the air at the Quemado Palace in La Paz after proclaiming herself the country's new interim president in a session of Congress that failed to reach a quorum, on November 12, 2019. - Bolivia's Evo Morales jetted off to exile in Mexico on Tuesday, leaving behind a country in turmoil after his abrupt resignation as president. The country has been hit by weeks of unrest amid violent protests following Morales' contested re-election. (Photo by Aizar RALDES / AFP) (Photo by AIZAR RALDES/AFP via Getty Images)

Bolivian President Jeanine Áñez raises the four canonical gospels in the air at the Quemado Palace in La Paz becoming interim president following socialist leader Evo Morales abandoning the presidency on November 10 and fleeing to Mexico. (Aizar Raldes/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (L), Vice President Mike Pence (2nd L) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) stand with Conan, the military dog that was involved with the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2019. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

US President Donald Trump (L), Vice President Mike Pence (2nd L) and First Lady Melania Trump (R) stand with Conan, the military dog that was involved with the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, at the White House in Washington, DC, on November 25, 2019. (Photo via Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

BEIJING, CHINA - OCTOBER 01: A giant portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping is carried atop a float at a parade to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 , at Tiananmen Square on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

A giant portrait of Chinese dictator Xi Jinping is carried atop a float at a parade, in front of an electric screen showing another giant portrait of Chinese dictator Xi Jinping, to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the violent communist takeover of China on October 1, 2019 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Pro-democracy protesters take part in a Thanksgiving Day rally at Edinburgh Place on November 28, 2019 in Hong Kong, China. Protesters gathered to say thank you to the United States after US President Donald Trump signed legislation supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, with new legislation requiring annual reviews of Hong Kong's rights and freedoms. Demonstrations in Hong Kong have stretched into their sixth month as pro-democracy groups won the recent District Council elections, continuing demands for an independent inquiry into police brutality, the retraction of the word "riot" to describe the rallies, and genuine universal suffrage. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Pro-democracy protesters take part in a Thanksgiving Day rally at Edinburgh Place on November 28, 2019, in Hong Kong. Protesters gathered to say thank you to the United States after US President Donald Trump signed legislation supporting the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters, with new legislation requiring annual reviews of Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Follow Frances Martel on Facebook and Twitter.

IG Report Reveals Steele Funneled Claims Through John McCain After FBI Dropped Him


Written by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/26/ig-report-reveals-steele-funneled-claims-through-john-mccain-after-fbi-dropped-him/

In this Aug. 25, 2009 file photo, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., holds a healthcare town hall meeting in Sun City, Ariz. McCain’s family says the Arizona senator has chosen to discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer. (AP Photo/Matt York) AP Photo/Matt York

Late Senator John McCain provided disgraced former FBI chief James Comey with five separate reports from Christopher Steele that the FBI didn’t previously possess related to unsubstantiated allegations of collusion between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 campaign, the Justice Department’s recent Inspector General report revealed.

There have long been questions about why it was necessary for McCain to pass Steele’s anti-Trump dossier to Comey on December 9, 2016, several weeks after the November 2016 presidential election. By then, Steele had already met numerous times with FBI agents to provide them with his controversial reports. Steele, however, was terminated as an FBI source in the fall of 2016 because he spoke to the news media.

The IG report discloses that McCain gave five new Steele reports to Comey that the FBI did not previously possess, showing that McCain served as a conduit for Steele’s information to reach the FBI even after the British ex-spy was formally cut off as an FBI source.

It is not clear whether McCain knew at the time that Steele had previously been terminated as an FBI source.

The IG report also verifies that a McCain aid obtained the Steele reports directly from Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson, meaning that when McCain transferred the anti-Trump charges to Comey he had to have known that the material originated with a firm that specializes in controversial opposition tactics. Fusion GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Trump’s primary political opponents, namely Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) via the Perkins Coie law firm.

States the IG report:

Several weeks later, on December 9, 2016, Senator John McCain provided Comey with a collection of 16 Steele election reports, 5 of which Steele had not given the FBI. McCain had obtained these reports from a staff member at the McCain Institute. The McCain Institute staff member had met with Steele and later acquired the reports from Simpson.

The unnamed McCain staff member is known to be David J. Kramer, who also infamously provided BuzzFeed with the Steele dossier.

BuzzFeed published Steele’s full dossier on January 10, 2017 setting off a firestorm of news media coverage about the document.

Prior to his death, McCain admitted to personally handing the dossier to Comey but he refused repeated requests for comment about whether he had a role in providing the dossier to BuzzFeed, including numerous inquiries sent to his office by this reporter.

In his book published last year, McCain maintained he had an “obligation” to pass the dossier charges against Trump to Comey and he would even do it again. “Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell,” McCain exclaimed.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Written with research by Joshua Klein.

Court Docs: Democrats Still Hope to Impeach Trump over Russia


Filed by Joel B. Pollak | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/12/23/court-docs-democrats-still-hope-to-impeach-trump-over-russia/

Komrade Trumpov impeachment rally balloon (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News / 

House Democrats are still hoping to impeach President Donald Trump over allegations resulting from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report earlier this year into “Russia collusion,” though Mueller found none existed.

The House Judiciary Committee reportedly told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Monday that it still wanted former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify even though Trump has already been impeached, because his impeachment could reveal that Trump obstructed justice in the Russia investigation.

Democrats voted last Wednesday to impeach the president for “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” in claims related to his dealings with Ukraine. But the text of the articles of impeachment cited Trump’s alleged “previous invitations of foreign interference,” referring to debunked allegations that he sought to collude with Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Democrats pursued McGahn’s testimony at the time the Mueller Report was released because they were determined to find any evidence that Trump obstructed justice, even though he had made every witness and document available to investigators and declined to exercise executive privilege. Mueller did not refer Trump for prosecution, nor did he  “exonerate” the president, but both Attorney General William Barr and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said that there was insufficient evidence to bring charges.

Nevertheless, Democrats continued to look for evidence of obstruction, even trying to obtain the grand jury materials that Mueller had used, which Barr was prohibited, by law, from providing to Congress (which found him in contempt anyway).

The White House, which had previously cooperated with Mueller, balked at allowing the president’s counsel to testify before Congress after the Mueller inquiry ended, citing legal privileges and constitutional boundaries.

But Democrats persisted.

In the Judiciary Committee’s report accompanying the articles of impeachment, which it cited in its court filing Monday, Democrats hinted that they included Trump’s so-called “obstruction of justice” in the Russia investigation in their “obstruction of Congress” article of impeachment, though they did not specifically charge him with obstructing justice (footnotes removed):

The Second Article of Impeachment impeaches President Trump for obstructing Congress with respect to the House impeachment inquiry relating to Ukraine. Yet, as noted in that Article, President Trump’s obstruction of that investigation is “consistent with [his] previous efforts to undermine United States Government investigations into foreign interference in United States elections.” An understanding of those previous efforts, and the pattern of misconduct they represent, sheds light on the particular conduct set forth in that Article as sufficient grounds for the impeachment of President Trump.

These previous efforts include, but are not limited to, President Trump’s endeavor to impede the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 United States Presidential election, as well as President Trump’s sustained efforts to obstruct the Special Counsel after learning that he was under investigation for obstruction of justice.

However, a footnote at the end of the first paragraph above suggested that the committee would seek to interview McGahn to obtain evidence for use in a Senate trial on existing articles of impeachment, not new ones:

This Committee has undertaken an investigation relating to the Special Counsel’s report. That includes inquiring into President Trump’s obstruction of the Special Counsel, as well as a review of other aspects of the Special Counsel’s underlying work that the President obstructed. As part of this investigation, the Committee has sought to compel testimony by former White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II, and to review certain grand jury materials relating to the Special Counsel’s report. Should the Committee obtain the information, it would be utilized, among other purposes, in a Senate trial on these articles of impeachment, if any. The Committee, moreover, has continued and will continue those investigations consistent with its own prior statements respecting their importance and purposes.

The DC Circuit is scheduled to hear the case on January 3. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has refused to turn over the articles of impeachment to the Senate because she says she is awaiting a guarantee of a “fair trial” — though the Constitution suggests that the Senate could hold a trial anyway.

She may, however, also be awaiting the D.C. Circuit’s ruling on the McGahn case, which would almost certainly be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court by either side.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Emails: Open Society Kept Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Updated on George Soros’s Personal Ukraine Activities


Written by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/17/emails-open-society-kept-alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella-updated-on-george-soross-personal-ukraine-activities/

George Soros, Chairman, Soros Fund Management and Open Society, testifies before US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry on ‘Foreign Policy and the Global Economic Crisis’ March 25, 2009, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Eric Ciaramella, whom Real Clear Investigations suggests is the likely so-called whistleblower, received emails about Ukraine policy from a top director at George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.

The emails informed Ciaramella and a handful of other Obama administration foreign policy officials about Soros’s whereabouts, the contents of Soros’s private meetings about Ukraine and a future meeting the billionaire activist was holding with the prime minister of Ukraine.

A primary recipient of the Open Society emails along with Ciaramella was then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who played a central role in the anti-Trump dossier affair. Nuland, with whom Ciaramella worked closely, received updates on Ukraine issues from dossier author Christopher Steele in addition to her direct role in facilitating the dossier within the Obama administration.

The emails spotlight Soros’s access to national security officials under the Obama administration on the matter of Ukraine. In one instance, Jeff Goldstein, senior policy analyst for Eurasia at the Open Society Foundations, sent a June 9, 2016 email to Nuland and Ciaramella, who were the missive’s primary recipients.

CC’d were three other State Department officials involved in European affairs, including Alexander Kasanof who worked at the U.S. embassy in Kiev.

The message read:

I wanted to let you know that Mr. Soros met with Johannes Hahn in Brussels earlier today. One of the issues he raised was concern over the decision to delay the visa liberalization for Georgia and the implications for Ukraine.

The email revealed that “GS” – meaning Soros – “is also meeting [Georgian] President [Giorgi] Margvelashvili today and speaking with PM Groyman,” referring to Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

The email stated that Soros told Hahn “that Ukrainian civil society is concerned that without reciprocity from the EU for steps Ukraine has taken to put in place sensitive anti-corruption and anti-discrimination legislation and institutions it will not be possible to continue to use the leverage of EU instruments and policies to maintain pressure for reforms in the future.”

Soros also “urged Hahn to advocate with member states to move ahead with visa liberalization for Ukraine,” the email related.

“I’m sure you’ve been working this issue hard; if you have any thoughts on how this is likely to play out or where particular problems lie I’d appreciate if you could let us know,” the email concluded.

Goldstein’s email text sent to Nuland and Ciaramella was not addressed to any one individual. Nuland replied that she would be happy to discuss the issues by phone. Goldstein set up a phone call and wrote that Soros specifically asked that an employee from the billionaire’s “personal office” join the call with Nuland.

The email was released last August as part of a separate Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative group Citizens United.  The FOIA request was unrelated to Ciaramella.

Johannes Hahn, referenced in the emails as meeting with Soros about Ukraine, is the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. In 2015, Hahn participated with Nuland in the YES Summit, which bills itself as “the leading public diplomacy platform in Eastern Europe.” Another summit participant was Vadym Pozharskyi, a board advisor to Burisma, the Ukranian natural gas company at the center of the impeachment trial and the allegations related to Hunter and Joe Biden.

On scores of occasions, Hahn was a featured speaker at roundtables and other events produced by the Atlantic Council think tank, which is funded by and works in partnership with Burisma. The Atlantic Council is also financed by Soros’s Open Society Foundations and has been in the news for ties to various actors associated with the impeachment issue.

In one of several instances, Breitbart News reported, itinerary for a trip to Ukraine in August organized by the Atlantic Council reveals that a staffer on Rep. Adam Schiff’s House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a meeting during the trip with Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor, now a key witness for Democrats pursuing impeachment. The Schiff staffer is also an Atlantic Council fellow, while Taylor has evidenced a close relationship with the Atlantic Council.

Breitbart News previously reported on other emails that show Ciaramella worked closely with Nuland. Nuland has come under repeated fire for her various roles in the anti-Trump dossier controversy.

In their book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, authors and reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier’s claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

FBI notes cite career Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as saying that Nuland was in touch with Fusion GPS co-founder and dossier producer Glenn Simpson.

Sen. John McCain, who infamously delivered the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly first dispatched an aide, David J. Kramer, to inquire with Nuland about the dossier claims.

Meanwhile, looped into some other email chains with Ciaramella was then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer.

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named Finer as obtaining the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually deciding to share the questionable document with Kerry. Finer reportedly received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele. Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

In testimony last year, Nuland made statements about a meeting at the State Department in October 2016 between State officials and Steele, but said that she didn’t participate.

At a June 2018 hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) revealed contents of the State Department’s visitor logs while he was grilling Nuland. At the hearing, Burr asked: “I know you talked extensively with our staff relative to Mr. Steele. Based upon our review of the visitor logs of the State Department, Mr. Steele visited the State Department briefing officials on the dossier in October of 2016. Did you have any role in that briefing?”

“I did not,” Nuland replied. “I actively chose not to be part of that briefing.”

“But were you aware of that briefing?” Burr asked.

“I was not aware of it until afterwards,” Nuland retorted.

Nuland did not explain how she can actively chose not to be part of Steele’s briefing, as she claimed, yet say she was unaware of the briefing until after it occurred. Nuland was not asked about the discrepancy during the public section of the testimony, which was reviewed in full by Breitbart News.

Nuland previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton’s administration, and then served as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her most recent appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Hillary Clinton’s State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Likely ‘whistleblower’

A RealClearInvestigations report by investigative journalist and author Paul Sperry named Ciaramella as best fitting the description of the so-called whistleblower.

Officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings say Ciaramella’s name has been raised in private in impeachment depositions and during at least one House open hearing that was not part of the formal impeachment proceedings.

Federal documents show Ciaramella also worked closely with Joe Biden and worked under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked with former CIA Director John Brennan, an anti-Trump advocate who has faced controversy for his role in fueling the questionable Russia collusion investigation.  Rice participated in Russia collusion probe meetings and reportedly unmasked senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sperry cites former White House officials saying Ciaramella worked for Biden on Ukrainian policy issues in 2015 and 2016, encompassing the time period for which Biden has been facing possible conflict questions for leading Ukraine policy in light of Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma.

Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, the activist attorneys representing the so-called whistleblower, refused to confirm on deny that their secretive client is indeed Ciaramella.

“We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower,” the lawyers told the Washington Examiner in response to an inquiry about Ciaramella.

Zaid and Bakaj added, “Our client is legally entitled to anonymity. Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Any physical harm the individual and/or their family suffers as a result of disclosure means that the individuals and publications reporting such names will be personally liable for that harm. Such behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.”

Soros funding and ‘whistleblower’ complaint

Besides Burisma funding, the Atlantic Council is also financed by Soros’s Open Society Foundations, Google, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., and the U.S. State Department. Google, Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Rockefeller Fund, and an agency of the State Department each also finance a self-described investigative journalism organization repeatedly referenced as a source of information in the so-called whistleblower’s complaint alleging Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country” in the 2020 presidential race.

The charges in the July 22 report referenced in the so-called whistleblower’s document and released by the Google and Soros-funded organization, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), seem to be the public precursors for a lot of the so-called whistleblower’s own claims, as Breitbart News documented.

One key section of the so-called whistleblower’s document claims that “multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelensky advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.”

This was allegedly to follow up on Trump’s call with Zelensky in order to discuss the “cases” mentioned in that call, according to the so-called whistleblower’s narrative. The complainer was clearly referencing Trump’s request for Ukraine to investigate the Biden corruption allegations.

Even though the statement was written in first person – “multiple U.S. officials told me” – it contains a footnote referencing a report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).

That footnote reads:

In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019 and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelensky adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

The so-called whistleblower’s account goes on to rely upon that same OCCRP report on three more occasions. It does so to:

  • Write that Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko “also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.”
  • Document that Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani “had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.”
  • Bolster the charge that, “I also learned from a U.S. official that ‘associates’ of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.” The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, “I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.”

The OCCRP report repeatedly referenced is actually a “joint investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and BuzzFeed News, based on interviews and court and business records in the United States and Ukraine.”

BuzzFeed infamously also first published the full anti-Trump dossier alleging unsubstantiated collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia. The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and was produced by the Fusion GPS opposition dirt outfit.

The OCCRP and BuzzFeed “joint investigation” resulted in both OCCRP and BuzzFeed publishing similar lengthy pieces on July 22 claiming that Giuliani was attempting to use connections to have Ukraine investigate Trump’s political rivals. The so-called whistleblower’s document, however, only mentions the largely unknown OCCRP and does not reference BuzzFeed, which has faced scrutiny over its reporting on the Russia collusion claims.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

Alleged ‘Whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella Worked Closely with Anti-Trump Dossier Hoaxer


Reported by Aaron Klein | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/11/06/alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella-worked-closely-with-anti-trump-dossier-hoaxers/

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 20: Former Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland testifies during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee June 20, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on “Policy Response to Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. … Alex Wong/Getty Images

Eric Ciaramella, whom Real Clear Investigations suggests is the likely so-called whistleblower, was part of an Obama administration email chain celebrating the eventual signing of a $1 billion U.S. loan guarantee to Ukraine.

That and other emails show Ciaramella interfaced about Ukraine with individuals who played key roles in facilitating the infamous anti-Trump dossier produced by Fusion GPS and reportedly financed by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee. One of those individuals, then-Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland (pictured), received updates on Ukraine issues from dossier author Christopher Steele in addition to Nuland’s direct role in the dossier controversy.

Also part of the email chains was Christopher J. Anderson, who was a special adviser to former special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker. Anderson testified to the Democrat-led House committees running the impeachment inquiry.

Ciaramella’s name comes up in six Obama-era government emails that were released by the State Department as part of two previous Freedom of Information Act requests.  At the time of the exchanges, Ciaramella served as the Director for Baltic and Eastern European Affairs for the Obama-era National Security Council, where he worked on Ukraine policy.  He is now an analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency.

One email, titled, “Loan Guarantee,” involved Nuland, who was reportedly a key champion of the Ukraine loan guarantee policy.

“Hurray,” a celebratory Nuland wrote in response to a translated Ukrainian government announcement about the signing of the $1 billion loan guarantee.  The announcement singles out Joe Biden as being present for the conclusion of an agreement leading to the loan guarantee.

Ciaramella was one of several people CC’d in the email, which was sent from the U.S. ambassador at the time, Geoffrey Pyatt, who was another key champion of the loan guarantee to Ukraine along with Nuland.

The email is one of several that shows Ciaramella in the loop with top officials such as Nuland working on Ukraine policy under the Obama administration.

The loan guarantee was pushed through after Ukraine agreed to several reforms, especially the firing of the nation’s top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. This at a time that Shokin was reportedly investigating Burisma, the Ukranian natural gas company paying Hunter Biden.  Joe Biden infamously boasted on video about personally threatening to withhold loan guarantees from Ukraine unless Shokin was removed.

Another released email shows Ciaramella himself sending a message to Nuland and others. Most of the contents are blocked out, including the email’s subject line. One non-classified section of that email shows a reply stating, “Embassy Kyiv — coordinated with our USAID mission folks — will have detailed input tomorrow.”

One email involving Nuland was sent two days before the loan guarantee was signed on June 3, 2016. “Can you confirm who will be doing the actual signing for each side?” the exchange asked.

Nuland has come under repeated fire for her various roles in the anti-Trump dossier controversy.

FBI notes also cite career Justice Department official Bruce Ohr as saying that Nuland was in touch with Fusion GPS co-founder and dossier producer Glenn Simpson.

Sen. John McCain, who infamously delivered the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly first dispatched an aide, David J. Kramer, to inquire with Nuland about the dossier claims.

In their book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, authors and reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier’s claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

Meanwhile, looped into email chains with Ciaramella was then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s chief of staff at the State Department, John Finer.

An extensive New Yorker profile of Steele named Finer as obtaining the contents of a two-page summary of the dossier and eventually deciding to share the questionable document with Kerry.

Finer reportedly received the dossier summary from Jonathan M. Winer, the Obama State Department official who acknowledged regularly interfacing and exchanging information with Steele, according to the report. Winer previously conceded that he shared the dossier summary with Nuland.

After his name surfaced in news media reports related to probes by House Republicans into the dossier, Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.

Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

In testimony last year, Nuland made statements about a meeting at the State Department in October 2016 between State officials and Steele, but said that she didn’t participate.

At a June 2018 hearing, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) revealed contents of the State Department’s visitor logs while he was grilling Nuland.

At the hearing, Burr asked: “I know you talked extensively with our staff relative to Mr. Steele. Based upon our review of the visitor logs of the State Department, Mr. Steele visited the State Department briefing officials on the dossier in October of 2016. Did you have any role in that briefing?”

“I did not,” Nuland replied. “I actively chose not to be part of that briefing.”

“But were you aware of that briefing?” Burr asked.

“I was not aware of it until afterwards,” Nuland retorted.

Nuland did not explain how she can actively chose not to be part of Steele’s briefing, as she claimed, yet say she was unaware of the briefing until after it occurred. Nuland was not asked about the discrepancy during the public section of the testimony, which was reviewed in full by Breitbart News.

Nuland previously served as chief of staff to Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott under Bill Clinton’s administration, and then served as deputy director for former Soviet Union affairs.

Nuland faced confirmation questions prior to her most recent appointment as assistant secretary of state over her reported role in revising controversial Obama administration talking points about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attacks. Her reported changes sought to protect Hillary Clinton’s State Department from accusations that it failed to adequately secure the woefully unprotected U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi.

Likely ‘whistleblower’

A RealClearInvestigations report by investigative journalist and author Paul Sperry named Ciaramella as best fitting the description of the so-called whistleblower. Officials with direct knowledge of the proceedings say Ciaramella’s name has been raised in private in impeachment depositions and during at least one House open hearing that was not part of the formal impeachment proceedings.

Federal documents show Ciaramella also worked closely with Joe Biden and worked under Susan Rice, President Obama’s national security adviser. He also worked with former CIA Director John Brennan, an anti-Trump advocate who has faced controversy for his role in fueling the questionable Russia collusion investigation.  Rice participated in Russia collusion probe meetings and reportedly unmasked senior members of Trump’s presidential campaign.

Sperry cites former White House officials saying Ciaramella worked for Biden on Ukrainian policy issues in 2015 and 2016, encompassing the time period for which Biden has been facing possible conflict questions for leading Ukraine policy in light of Hunter Biden’s work for Burisma.

Mark Zaid and Andrew Bakaj, the activist attorneys representing the so-called whistleblower, refused to confirm on deny that their secretive client is indeed Ciaramella.

“We neither confirm nor deny the identity of the Intelligence Community Whistleblower,” the lawyers told the Washington Examiner in response to an inquiry about Ciaramella.

Zaid and Bakaj added, “Our client is legally entitled to anonymity. Disclosure of the name of any person who may be suspected to be the whistleblower places that individual and their family in great physical danger. Any physical harm the individual and/or their family suffers as a result of disclosure means that the individuals and publications reporting such names will be personally liable for that harm. Such behavior is at the pinnacle of irresponsibility and is intentionally reckless.”

On Sunday, Trump responded to press reports naming Ciaramella, calling him a “radical” known for his close ties to Brennan and Rice.

“Well, I’ll tell you what. There have been stories written about a certain individual, a male, and they say he’s the whistleblower,” Trump told reporters. “If he’s the whistleblower, he has no credibility because he’s a Brennan guy, he’s a Susan Rice guy, he’s an Obama guy.”

Trump added, “And he hates Trump. And he’s a radical. Now, maybe it’s not him. But if it’s him, you guys ought to release the information.”

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Joshua Klein contributed research to this article.

Rand Paul Blocks Vote on House Measure Condemning Trump’s Syria Withdrawal


Written by Joshua Caplan | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/10/17/rand-paul-blocks-vote-on-house-measure-condemning-trumps-syria-withdrawal/

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., walks to the Senate as an 11th-hour Republican rescue mission to keep President Donald Trump from a Senate defeat on his signature issue of building barriers along the southwest border seems near collapse, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), one of Congress’s most prominent non-interventionists, blocked a move on Thursday to bring a House-approved measure formally condemning President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from northern Syria.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) attempted to gain consent to introduce the measure to the upper chamber’s floor, but because it requires unanimous consent, any senator has the ability to thwart it.

“The most important thing we can do right now is send President Trump a message that Congress, the vast majority of Democrats and Republicans, demand he reverse course,”Schumer said.

Paul argued Schumer was attempting to circumvent the U.S. Constitution by bringing the measure to a vote.

“He should come to the floor and say that we are ready to declare war. We are ready to authorize force, and we are going to stick our troops in the middle of this messy, messy, five-sided civil war where we would be ostensibly opposed to the Turkish government that has made an incursion,” he said.

The House had passed a resolution Wednesday condemning President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria in a 354-60 vote.

The move by Paul comes as U.S. officials said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to stop its offensive in Syria, signaling an end to a military campaign that has so far killed dozens of Kurdish fighters and drawn international condemnation.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the agreement for a five-day cease-fire after hours of bilateral meetings in Ankara among U.S. and Turkish officials — which included Erdogan and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The situation will be re-evaluated at the end of the five-day deal.

Erdogan’s forces began Operation Peace Spring a week ago in northeast Syria, to clear border territories of Kurdish fighters so Ankara can send back Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey. The Turkish leader has previously insisted he would accept no cease-fire.

“The United States and Turkey have both mutually committed to a peaceful resolution and future for the safe zone, working on an international basis to ensure that peace and security defines this border region with Syria,” Pence stated.

The UPI contributed to this report. 

9/11 Mastermind, 4 Co-Conspirators Still Awaiting Trial 18 Years Since Attacks


Reported by Edwin Mora | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/09/11/9-11-mastermind-4-co-conspirators-still-awaiting-trial-18-years-since-attacks/

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 911 mastermind, was allowed to build a vacuum will in a secret CIA prison in Romania keep him from going nuts. / HO/AFP/Getty Images

The death penalty trial of the self-proclaimed 9/11 mastermind and his four co-conspirators held at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, is still pending nearly two decades after the jihadis executed the attack, the deadliest on American soil.

In an unprecedented move, however, the judge overseeing the military tribunal at Gitmo finally set a date at the end of last month for the start of the trial for the five defendants.

On August 30, U.S. Air Force Col. Shane Cohen, who took over as the judge overseeing the case in June, said the trial would begin January 11, 2021, as the nation approaches the 20th anniversary of the day that triggered the longest war in American history.

The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to remove the Taliban from power for harboring the late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the days leading to the attack and prevent the South Asian country from again becoming a haven for terrorists seeking to attack America.

Afghanistan is now home to the “highest regional concentration” of terrorist groups in the world, including the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), the Pentagon reported in July.

Pre-trial hearings for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) and the four other men alleged to have played vital roles in helping carry out the massacre on September 11, 2001, resumed Monday.

As the U.S. holds another memorial service Wednesday for the nearly 3,000 people killed by al-Qaeda 18 years ago, the five defendants will still be awaiting trial.

KSM and his co-conspirators — Walid Muhammad Bin Attash, Ramzi Bin Al Shibh, Ali Abdul-Aziz Ali, and Mustafa Ahmed Al Hawsawi — could face the death penalty.

The U.S. is still holding the five terrorists at the detention facility in Guantánamo, commonly known as Gitmo.

U.S. authorities did not arraign KSM and his four co-conspirators until May 2012, more than a decade after the attacks. American service-members captured KSM in 2003 and transferee him to Gitmo in 2006.

The military commission at Gitmo has repeatedly delayed the prospective trial of the 9/11 perpetrators in U.S. custody.

In setting the trial date, Judge Cohen acknowledged that the U.S. military base at Guantánamo “will face a host of administrative and logistics challenges,” the Military Times reported.

National Public Radio (NPR) added:

[A] number of other deadlines would need to be met for the long-delayed trial to begin.
That includes the U.S. government turning over all evidence it is required to give to defense attorneys. Lawyers for the five defendants say prosecutors have not been forthcoming.
Several defense attorneys told NPR they think the scheduled trial date is unrealistic, and they say Guantánamo isn’t physically ready for a trial of that magnitude. But prosecutors have been asking for a trial date for several years and say that finally having one will motivate all parties to meet the deadline.

The tribunal overseeing the case of the 9/11 attackers is a hybrid of the federal and military justice system.

This week, the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) revealed:

Crucial pre-trial hearings for the accused mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks and four other men alleged to have played key roles in helping carry out the passenger plane hijackings will resume on Monday (September 9) in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
[KSM], who confessed to being involved in the capture and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was subjected to extensive torture and was waterboarded 183 times.
The procedure simulates a drowning experience.
Lawyers for the defense are arguing that any confessions or other material should be invalidated because of the torture and are likely to file motions to have the entire trial set aside.

Gitmo is still housing 40 jihadis, the majority of whom are considered “forever prisoners,” or too dangerous to release.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has only transferred one detainee out of the facility. Former U.S. President Barack Obama had approved the prisoner for release.

The Trump administration is considering sending newly captured terrorists to the prison, particularly the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) jihadis.

Citing the slow-moving pace of the military commissions and the cost of operating Gitmo, critics continue to argue in favor of allowing civilian courts on U.S. soil to handle the remaining cases.

U.S. law approved under the Obama administration, however, makes it impossible to transfer any Guantánamo prisoner to the United States.

Gitmo’s military tribunals have only produced eight convictions, including four overturned completely and one partially.

KSM and the other four defendants are among the only seven prisoners still held at Gitmo who face charges before a “military commission.”

Of the four overturned convictions, the military commission will have to deal with three. The other prisoner has appealed his life sentence to the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. authorities only charged 16 detainees held at G with criminal offenses, Human Rights Watch reported.

Yemenis make up the single largest national group at the prison, followed by Saudis.

NGO: Fulani Killings of Nigerian Christians Amount to ‘Genocide’


Written by Edwin Mora | 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/07/23/ngo-fulani-killings-of-nigerian-christians-amount-to-genocide/

Nigerian pilgrims wait outside the Tomb of Jesus during their visit at the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem's Old City on February 25, 2016. / AFP / THOMAS COEX (Photo credit should read THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images)
THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty
 

US sending 1,000 more troops to Middle East


Written by Zachary Halaschak | June 17, 2019 08:22 PM

The U.S. is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East amid increasing tension between the U.S. and Iran. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced the additional forces in a statement Monday evening, saying that the increase came at the urging of U.S. military leaders in the Middle East.

“In response to a request from the US Central Command for additional forces, and with the advice of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and in consultation with the White House, I have authorized approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East,” Shanahan said in a statement.

“The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” Shanahan said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats,” he added.

A pair of oil tankers were attacked earlier this month in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. and the U.K. have placed blame for the attack on Iran. The move came just hours before Iran reportedly fired a surface-to-air missile at a U.S. drone. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed the tanker attacks on the “maximum pressure campaign” that the U.S. is waging against the Iranian regime, targeting its financial industry.

“Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted,” Pompeo told reporters last week. “The international community condemns Iran’s assault on the freedom of navigation and the targeting of innocent civilians.”

Last month, four other tankers were targeted by Iran in what Pompeo described as an Iranian attempt to inflate international oil prices.

The U.S. also recently deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East.

Classified Iran briefing becomes heated as Trump team clashes with Democrats


Reported by Joel Gehrke | May 21, 2019

A classified Senate briefing on Iranian plots against the United States turned into a tense clash between top U.S. officials and lawmakers frustrated with President Trump’s strategy toward Tehran.

“I would say there was a lot of heat in that room,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told the Washington Examiner following the Tuesday afternoon briefing.

Key congressional Democrats suggested that President Trump’s administration was preparing for military conflict with the regime based on faulty intelligence or even false pretenses after ambiguous U.S. warnings that Iranian proxies might attack American personnel in Iraq. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan sought to allay that suspicion in separate meetings, first with House lawmakers and then the Senate Tuesday afternoon.

“Today I walked them through what the Department of Defense has been doing since May 3, when we received credible intelligence about threats to our interests in the Middle East and to American forces, and how we acted on that credible intelligence,” Shanahan told reporters after the Senate briefing. “That intelligence has borne out in attacks, and I would say it’s also deterred attacks. We have deterred attacks based on our re-posturing of assets, deterred attacks against American forces.”

The controversy shifted in the briefing to complaints that they didn’t communicate with Congress enough in recent weeks and a broader protest against the administration’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was among the most aggressive in raising the specter of being misled into a conflict with Iran.

“Most Americans know way back when we were lied to about the situation in Vietnam and we went into a war which ended up costing us 59,000 lives, based on a lie,” he said. “In 2003, we were lied to in terms of Iraq supposedly having weapons of mass destruction.”

Sanders refused to answer whether he believes such lies are being told now. “I won’t talk about what we heard in the meeting,” he said. “But let me just say that I worry very much that, intentionally or unintentionally, we create a situation in which a war will take place.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer avoided that controversy entirely, focusing only on the frustration that the administration didn’t provide more information to lawmakers over the last three weeks.

“I told the people who were briefing us that I thought the consultation with the American people and the Congress was inadequate,” the New York Democrat told reporters in a brief appearance, without taking additional questions. “Both the American people and the Congress read about a lot of actions in the newspapers and had no idea what was going on. I told them they had to make it better next time.”

Shanahan acknowledged that desire for more information. “We heard feedback that they’d like more conversation,” he said. “They’d also like us to be more communicative with the American public, and we agreed to do more of that.”

Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, a senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, conceded that the meeting was a “very helpful” survey of the intelligence reports and U.S. responses. Another lawmaker confirmed that the meeting was testy, but in this telling the confrontation was bipartisan and focused more on the administration’s policies than suspicions that they are fabricating intelligence.

“A number of them questioned the conclusions of the administration about the reaction of the Iranians and what it might lead to,” a Democratic senator, speaking on condition of anonymity, said after the briefing. “I think there’s a lot of us with real misgivings about how serious this is and how much is a creation of the administration’s own provocative policy.”

Shanahan stressed that the administration, which has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf and threatened devastating consequences for attacks on Americans, is trying to avoid a conflict.

“Our biggest focus at this point is to prevent Iranian miscalculation,” he told reporters. “We do not want the situation to escalate.”

Cruz kept the focus on Democratic hostility to Trump and their fidelity to the nuclear agreement that former President Barack Obama’s team negotiated with Iran.

“Far too many congressional Democrats are invested in appeasement for Iran, which manifests in effectively defending the mullahs against maximum pressure,” he told the Washington Examiner.

‘Nobody Will Go Back’: Christians Flee Middle East After Fall of Islamic State


Reported by EDWIN MORA |

Iranian Christian worshippers attend the Christmas mass at the Saint Joseph Chaldean-Assyrian Catholic church, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Dec. 25, 2017. Iranian Christians are a minority and recognized by the constitution in the Muslim country and are represented in the parliament. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
AP Photo/Vahid Salemi
 

The number of Christians in the birthplace of their faith, the greater Middle East, continues to plummet months after the Islamic State, which waged a genocidal campaign against Christians, lost its “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, Breitbart News learned from various experts, including an archbishop.

“Unfortunately, it can be stated that the Islamic State group’s anti-Christian campaign was very successful in Iraq, and to a certain extent, successful in Syria,” John Hajjar, the co-chair of the American Mideast Coalition for Democracy (AMCD) and co-director of the Middle East Christian Committee (MECHRIC), told Breitbart News.

“I think we have no more hope,”Archbishop Vicken Aykazian, the diocesan legate in America’s capital and ecumenical director for the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Orthodox Church of America, also told Breitbart News, referring to the future of Christianity in its Middle East cradle. “Middle East Christians have no nation that protects them openly.”

The number of Christians in Middle East-North Africa (MENA), as a component of the overall Muslim-majority population, has dropped substantially — from about ten percent in 1900 to between two and four percent now.

There are different estimates for the overall number of Christians that vary from about 12 million in the Middle East alone to about 20 million in MENA, Breitbart News learned from the experts and data from U.S. government and independent sources.

“The future for Christians right now is terrible — a Middle East without Christians. We are going to have churches without Christians as museums for tourists. There will be no Christians left,” the archbishop warned, echoing other analysts who have constantly cautioned that Christianity is on the verge of extinction in the Middle East.

“The number of Christians in the Middle East has already dropped extensively,” he further declared, accusing church leaders of inflating the actual numbers of Christ followers in the region to minimize the fact that Christianity is on the brink of extinction.

The bishop urged U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to do even more to help Middle East Christians.

Contradicting assertions by the Trump administration, the Church leader said, “People are not coming back. I can assure you that nobody will go back.”

The Trump administration has disbursed billions in funding to help victims of ISIS genocide, namely Christians and Yazidis, but the bishop told Breitbart News it is “not enough.”

“Trump is going to be a hero for the Christians in the Middle East if he takes more action,” he said.

Addressing President Trump, Archbishop Aykazian added, “Please help the Christians. They need your help and once you move one of your fingers the entire Arabic world will thank you. If he does such a thing, it is going to change everything. If he doesn’t, they will suffer.”

“The ball is in Trump’s court,” he further said.

In Iraq, which experts say has experienced the most dramatic drop in Christians due to jihadis and Iran-allied groups, Aykazian told Breitbart News that number has decreased from 1.6 million to less than 100,000, marking a drop of more than 90 percent.

“A similar situation is taking place in Syria’s Aleppo where there has also been a drop of more than 90 percent in Christians, from 360,000 to about 25,000 now,” he said, noting, “The church leaders don’t want to say those statements because they fear their followers will be disillusioned.”

ISIS’s genocide campaign targeted religious minorities in Iraq and Syria, primarily Christians and Yazidis, killing tens of thousands of them and taking some hostages as sex slaves.

“They [Christians] realized just how insecure they are,” Nina Shea, a religious freedom expert at the Hudson Institute, told Breitbart News. “Their own governments fail to protect them, and ISIS gained popular support within some neighboring major Sunni areas, like Mosul.”

Archbishop Aykazian said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi “so far has been the best leader in the Middle East for defending Christians.” he said, adding, “The biggest Christian majorities are in Egypt.”

Shea pointed out, “Egypt retains ten million Coptic Christians. That is the only place where I see a certain future for them [Christians].”

“In a generation, Egypt may be the only remaining country with a robust Christian community that traces its roots to the earliest Christian church,” Shea added. “Elsewhere in the Middle East, only remnants of these ancient communities may survive.”

Nevertheless, Shea and the bishop acknowledged that, even in Egypt, Christians are confronting the spread of Sunni extremism and anti-Christian bigotry. The ongoing war against Islamic terrorism continues to kill, wound, and push Christians out of their historical homelands in the greater Middle East, even in Egypt.

“More recently, after the Arab Spring and with the rise of ISIS, tens of thousands of Christians were killed in Iraq and Syria,” Hajjar said. “Close to 1 million Christians in the region have gone into exile.”

“Following multiple terrorist attacks in Egypt against the Copts, many Christian Egyptians also emigrated from their country,” Hajjar continued. “We can estimate that more than 25-30 percent of Christians in the Middle East have been affected by the recent wars and conflicts.”

The experts also attributed the ongoing demise of Christianity in the Middle East to certain governments’ disdain towards followers of Christianity and their refusal to protect them.

In Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly designated Christians as “enemies of the state.” In Iraq, the country that experienced the sharpest drop in the number of Christ followers in recent years, Baghdad-sanctioned Iran-allied Shiite militias have reportedly taken Christian lands and are harassing them.

Referring to the countries that have experienced the largest decline in Christians, Hajjar named Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Lebanon. Similar to Hajjar’s list, the bishop said, “Iraq is number one, Lebanon is number two, and Syria is number three.”

The experts conceded that the Trump administration had done more to help Middle East Christians than his predecessor, but they argued that Christians are far from protected and more can be done.

 

GREAT NEWS: President Trump Announces Release of Hostage Danny Burch from Yemen


Reported by John Hayward | Monday February 25, 2019

URL of the original posting site: https://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2019/02/25/president-trump-announces-release-hostage-danny-burch-yemen/

American held hostage in Yemen freed: Trump
AFP SAUL LOEB

President Donald Trump on Monday announced the release of Danny Burch, an American citizen who has been held hostage in Yemen since 2017. Trump thanked the United Arab Emirates for assisting with Burch’s liberation and said his administration has now secured the freedom of 20 Americans held captive in various countries.

Trump delivered the good news on Monday through his preferred social media platform, Twitter:

Danny Burch was taken from his car by a squad of gunmen in broad daylight on the streets of Yemen’s capital Sanaa in September 2017. A native of East Texas, Burch was 63 years old at the time of his abduction and had been living in Yemen for several years while working as an engineer for the Yemeni Safer oil company. Burch converted to Islam during his time in Yemen and married a Yemen woman. The couple has three children, the oldest of whom was 12 when he was taken.

The abduction occurred in an area controlled by the Iran-backed Houthi insurgents who drove Yemen’s internationally-recognized government out of Sanaa. The Houthis initially denounced the kidnapping as a “criminal and cowardly act” and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice, but were eventually revealed to be holding him prisoner.

Burch was transferred from Yemen to Oman in January 2018, traveling in the company of a senior Houthi official. This event was widely described as the Houthis “releasing” Burch, but he was evidently unable to return to his family until today. A March 2018 briefing from CriticalThreats.org stated the Houthi official who traveled to Oman with Burch was a negotiator named Mohammed Ali al-Houthi and noted the timing of Burch’s purported “release” coincided with “renewed al-Houthi overtures for negotiations.” Salam subsequently left Oman for Iran and met with Iranian officials including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

At the time of this writing, the White House has not clarified Burch’s status since January 2018 or detailed the negotiations that ultimately reunited him with his family.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Brave New World

Liberals always like to remind us we’re all children of immigrants but for many, they didn’t have welfare and food stamps available when they came here.

Food Stamps and Welfare for ImmigrantsPolitical Cartoons by A.F. Branco ©2019.
More A.F. Branco Cartoons at The Daily Torch.

A.F. Branco 2019 13-Month Calendar <—- Order

A.F.Branco Coffee Table Book <—- Order Here.

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated –  $1.00 – $5.00 – $10 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been seen all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, and even the great El Rushbo.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Blind Ambition

The saga continues; Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer are blinded by politics and their hate for President Trump in regard to border security and Protecting U.S. citizens.

Pelosi and Schumer Blinded by PoliticsPolitical Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2019.
More A.F. Branco Cartoons at The Daily Torch.

A.F. Branco 2019 13-Month Calendar <—- Order

A.F.Branco Coffee Table Book <—- Order Here.

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been seen all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, and even the great El Rushbo.

Seventeen Burned Bodies Appear Near Border as Democrats Say We Don’t Need a Wall


Reported By Ben Marquis | January 10, 2019 at 4:25pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/seventeen-burned-bodies-appear-near-border-democrats-say-dont-need-wall/

Burned Car | Ilya Andriyanov / Shutterstock(Ilya Andriyanov / Shutterstock)

Democrats and the media immediately set about disputing Trump’s labeling of the border situation as a “crisis,” part of their overtly biased effort to instantly “fact-check” every word or statistic uttered by the president in the brief speech, and — coincidentally? — all seemed to arrive at the same conclusion: There is no real crisis at the border, only a “manufactured crisis” brought about purposefully by Trump’s actions, or some such nonsense like that.

Of course, to follow along with the media’s bouncing ball on this one, everyone must ignore the fact that the same liberal media loudly trumpeted the “crisis” at the border in 2013 and 2014 — when they were supporting comprehensive immigration reform and amnesty for illegal immigrants — or their hollering about a “crisis” on the border through much of 2017 and 2018 when Trump began to crack down on illegal border crossings and deportations ticked up.

In truth, however, the only thing “manufactured” about all of this is the Democrats ‘obstinate opposition to the president and their refusal to acknowledge the basic and undeniable facts of what is occurring on and around the porous and lightly defended southern border.

Case in point, Reuters reported on Thursday that at least 20 dead bodies — 17 of which had been badly burned — were discovered on Wednesday in the Mexican city of Ciudad Miguel Aleman, which is located a mere 56 miles across the Rio Grande River from the U.S. border city of McAllen, Texas, where President Trump visited with U.S. Border Patrol agents and other officials on Thursday.

Mexican authorities are reportedly investigating what has all the appearances of a deadly battle between members of two rival gangs in the area, gangs that routinely play in a role in the illicit cross-border excursions that bring illegal aliens, criminals, drugs, weapons and even terrorists into this nation.

The suspected gang-related massacre even drew a mention from Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at his daily news conference on Thursday, and though he didn’t offer up much in the way of specifics, he did say that security officials would provide more information at a later date or time.

Reuters noted that according to one Mexican security official, five burned-out vehicles were also discovered along with the 20 dead bodies, though the outlet noted that a separate Mexican security official had reportedly counted as many as 21 dead bodies at the scene. The grisly scene was located in the Tamaulipas region of Mexico, one of the more violent states in that nation that has been controlled by dangerous criminal cartels and gangs for years. Those groups exert a great deal of control over drug and human trafficking across the border in that region, and are well-known for running extortion rackets on local residents and exploiting migrants passing through the area for whatever can be gained.

When not engaged in those border-related crimes, the cartels and gangs are fighting violently among each other or waging war against Mexican security forces, violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives — some innocent, some not so much — over the years.

Obviously, incidents like this one — and this bloody incident is far from an isolated occurrence — are what President Trump is referencing when he speaks of the “crisis” at the border while demanding Congress appropriate the necessary funds to construct a border wall where needed and to increase border security measures in other ways.

Yet, based solely on their reflexive opposition to all things Trump, many talking heads in the liberal media staunchly refuse to acknowledge as a “crisis” what their own colleagues are quietly reporting on a near-daily basis.

Indeed, some in the media have even adopted a sort of “Don’t believe your lying eyes” attitude when it comes to their anti-Trump reporting on the border, as evidenced by a ridiculous tweet from CNN’s Jim Acosta that actually seemed to prove the president’s point about how necessary and effective a border wall truly is.

In several other tweets after that, Acosta hyped up how safe the border town of McAllen is — while studiously ignoring the obvious fact that McAllen is safe because it has a border wall and other barriers obstructing those who would illicitly cross over.

Unfortunately, the wall and other barriers along the border in the McAllen region that keep it so safe only extend for so long, and eventually give way to mere chain-link fencing or nothing at all, meaning those who wish to cross the border illegally need only walk around the end to do so. Anyone with common sense and intellectual honesty can plainly see that and realize Trump is absolutely correct to want to address this security crisis post haste.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

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Writer and researcher. Constitutional conservatarian with a strong focus on protecting the Second and First Amendments.

Mehlman: Border wall really barrier to Dems’ dreams


Reported by Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com) | Monday, January 7, 2018

U.S.-Mexico border fence (new)

Technology is helpful to detect and arrest illegal aliens crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, says an advocate for immigration enforcement, but it cannot replace physical barriers that stop their progress.   

As the partial government shutdown continues into a third week, both President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders are digging in their heels over funding a border wall, a key promise of Trump’s 2016 campaign but a boogey man to Democrats who want to stop him from achieving that goal.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have claimed they support night vision cameras and sensors along the border rather than a physical barrier.

“We favor smart, effective border security,” Schumer has said, “not a medieval wall.”

Pelosi, meanwhile, made headlines in recent weeks by calling a border wall “immoral” then, in past days, described it as an “immorality between countries.”

Republicans, however, have pointed out that liberal Democrats voted for a 2006 bill that poured millions into a border fence, and talk radio and Twitter have been asking if supporting that border fence was an “immoral” vote, too. 

Meanwhile, footage of Schumer defending U.S. sovereignty and referring to illegals as “illegal aliens” — now considered a derogatory term to far-left activists — has materialized as well as the border battle heats up.  

Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, says Democrats object to a wall

Mehlman

because it clashes with their progressive vision of an open border. Their claims to push technology are suspect, he says, because those measures fail to keep illegals from stepping onto U.S. property. 

“A wall actually does,” he insists. “And we’ve seen evidence of that around San Diego with the caravan that came up from Central America. Most of the people remained on the other side of the border because there is a wall there.”

Oval Office fight

Mehlman likens the idea of technology to a home security system but says a border barrier is much like an old-fashioned lock on the door.

“If you had to choose between locks on the doors and windows, and censors on the doors and windows,” he observes, “I think most people would choose the locks.”

What any new border barrier will look like, if it ever happens, is up in the air: Trump has stated in recent days that steel fencing — “steel slat barriers” — would be suitable, and that idea is being mocked by Democrats over his campaign promise of a concrete wall. 

According to The Daily Caller, however, Trump is listening to the advice of Border Patrol leaders who have shown him prototypes of border structures. The most suitable structure depends on the terrain, flooding, and if the area if a favorite for illegal entry, the story explained.  

As far as the Democrats mocking the idea of a wall, Mehlman says walls might be a medieval idea but they have worked for thousands of years.

“The wheel’s been around for a long time but it works,” he says, “and so does the wall.”

Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – RINOs R Us

Outgoing Senator Flake is relieved he’s found his replacement in the Senator from Utah Mitt Romney. Both fill the RINOs R Us bill nicely by bashing the Trump agenda.

Romney Flakes Out Against TrumpPolitical Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2019.
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A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been seen all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, and even the great El Rushbo.

A.F. Branco Cartoon – American Standoff

Trump wants a border for national security, Pelosi and Schumer only want to obstruct Trump. Where’s the middle ground.
National Security Line in The Sand Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2019.

See more Legal Insurrection Branco cartoons, click here.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A.F. Branco


A.F. Branco Cartoon – Border Money

The US Government has plenty of Multi-billions for dictators around the world and for failing car companies but nothing for National Security.

Border Money or Government ShutdownPolitical Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018
See more Legal Insurrection Branco cartoons, click here.

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Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated –  $1.00 – $5.00 – $10 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been seen all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, and even the great El Rushbo.

Today’s TWO Politically INCORRECT Cartoons by A.F. Branco


The Jig’s Up

Why would a person who voted for a known communist get anywhere near classified information let alone become the director of the CIA.

Brennan Loses Security ClearancePolitical Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.
More A.F. Branco cartoons at Constitution.com here.

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Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated –  $1.00 – $5.00 – $10 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been seen all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News” and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, and even the great El Rushbo.

Base Player

The party of Open borders, sanctuary cities, and for abolishing I.C.E. show no signs of receding their policies that get people like Mollie Tibbitts killed.

Mollie Tibbitts Killed by Illegal AlienPolitical Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2018.
See more Legal Insurrection Branco cartoons, click here.

A.F.Branco’s New Coffee Table Book <—- Order Here!

Donations/Tips accepted and appreciated –  $1.00 – $5.00 – $10 – $100 –  it all helps to fund this website and keep the cartoons coming. – THANK YOU!

A.F. Branco has taken his two greatest passions, (art and politics) and translated them into the cartoons that have been seen all over the country, in various news outlets including “Fox News”, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and “The Washington Post.” He has been recognized by such personalities as James Woods, Sarah Palin, Larry Elder, Lars Larson, and even the great El Rushbo.

Breaking Report: Source of WH Leak Found, Much Worse Than We Thought


Reported By Joe Saunders | March 21, 2018 at 3:42pm

URL of the original posting site: https://conservativetribune.com/breaking-report-wh-leaker-found/

A lawmaker on the House Foreign Affairs Committee just reported where President Donald Trump’s massive White House leak is. If he’s right, Trump’s got more trouble than we thought… and conservatives are about to be proven right again.  The White House leaker might have gone too far for his own good.

Word that Trump ignored the written advice of his national security advisers to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his rigged election win during a phone call Tuesday had the nation’s capital in an uproar this week, and had some top Republicans saying there is only a short list of possible sources for the leak.

And National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is going to have a lot to answer for.

It was a scene reminiscent of the earliest days of the Trump White House, when leaks to the media were occurring on a daily – it seems like hourly – basis. Trump had barely talked publicly about the phone call during a joint news conference in the Oval Office with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman before The Washington Post was reporting the leak.

According to the Post, Trump ignored “specific warnings from his national security advisers Tuesday when he congratulated Russian President Vladi­mir Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating ‘DO NOT CONGRATULATE,’ according to officials familiar with the call.”

Obviously, those “officials familiar with the call” probably weren’t supposed to go blabbing about their insights to the media, much less the anti-Trump Washington Post. And just as obviously, there has to be a very small number of people who could have known enough about the situation to talk. What might not be so obvious, though, is that the leak itself might be a crime. 

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, told reporters at a Heritage Foundation event on Wednesday that the leak “had to” come from the White House national security team headed by McMaster, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Here’s the big deal. If you’ve got the national security council team leaking to the press, that’s a big deal,” he said at a “Conversations with Conservatives” panel, the Examiner reported.

“Quite frankly, some of the other stuff they’ve leaked is actually a crime,” he added.

Among other lawmakers, the substance of the call was more important. Arizona Sen. John McCain, for instance criticized the call as giving Putin’s re-election a democratic legitimacy that it didn’t deserve. But they’re missing the point. Trump has been tougher on Russia than the doormat presidency of Barack Obama ever was, as Rep. Trey Gowdy pointed out on Fox News on Sunday. That doesn’t mean he can’t talk to the hard case in the Kremlin. 

Vladimir Putin is going to be the leader of Russia for the foreseeable future. A shared phone call between the president of Russia and the president of the United States doesn’t mean the countries are friends, any more than contacts between previous American presidents and the dictators of the Soviet Union would have meant both sides weren’t fighting the Cold War to the death.

(America won and the Soviet Union died, thanks to Ronald Reagan. No one accused Reagan of coddling the Soviets when he met with then-premier Mikhail Gorbachev numerous times in the 1980s.)

But if the supposedly private counsel a president receives is going to be published by The Washington Post or some other news outlet in virtually real time, the Trump White House – and the country as a whole – has a real problem on its hands.

And that problem seems to be deep inside National Security Advisor McMaster’s wheelhouse. It’s just the latest time McMaster has been in the spotlight, and it’s rarely a good sign. When prominent conservative Sebastian Gorka left the Trump White House in August, for instance, his clashes with McMaster were considered to have played a key role.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has had his differences with Trump going back to when the two men battled for the GOP nomination in the 2016 primary. He said he didn’t approve of the call to Putin, but said the leak was worse.

“So, I don’t like what he did, but I really hate that there’s someone in his inner circle that’s willing to leak this stuff,” Rubio said, according the Examiner. “If you don’t like working for the president, you should resign your job.”

Considering how small the number of potential suspects is, this time it might be too late to resign. The leaker might be getting a letter of a different kind, one that says, in all caps, “YOU’RE FIRED.”

And then some advice on hiring a good criminal defense lawyer.

CIA Director Pompeo Reveals Incredible Insight Into Trump’s Presidency Few Have Seen Firsthand


Reported By Joe Setyon | January 24, 2018 at 6:43am

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournal.com/cia-director-pompeo-reveals-incredible-insight-trumps-presidency-seen-firsthand/

The man who oversees U.S. intelligence operations indicated that his boss, President Donald Trump, has an ability to grasp information rivaling that of longtime intelligence professionals.

Speaking Tuesday at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, CIA Director Mike Pompeo praised the manner by which the president receives and processes knowledge from intelligence briefings.

“I have seen 25-year intelligence professionals receive briefings,” Pompeo told AEI’s Marc Thiessen. “I would tell you that President Trump is the kind of recipient of our information at the same level that they are.” 

The CIA chief continued, noting that Trump receives briefings lasting between 30 and 40 minutes on almost daily basis, during which he “asks hard questions” and is “deeply engaged.”

He has the grounding for him to be able to grasp this information in a way that he can ask sophisticated questions that then lead to important policy discussions,” Pompeo said. 

“We’ll be sitting at a National Security Council meeting talking about a particular tropic,” Pompeo added, offering an example of Trump’s ability to process and retain information. “He’ll bring up something that I briefed him on weeks or months ago.”

The CIA director acknowledged the possibility that Trump already knew the information in question before getting briefed on it. But this type of scenario happens so often, Pompeo said, that he’s inclined to think Trump is recalling prior intelligence briefings.

“This happens time and time again,” Pompeo said.

“So it’s not simply the case that this is an exercise. He’s using it, he’s taking it on board, and I’m confident that our team is delivering in a way that’s delivering value to the president and … our other senior policymakers as well.”

Pompeo’s remarks on the president’s reception of intelligence information seemed to push back on prior reports claiming Trump has trouble staying focused,

In May 2017, a source told Reuters that National Security Council officials include Trump’s name in “as many paragraphs as (they) can because he keeps reading if he’s mentioned.” Moreover, the president reportedly prefers one-page memos and visual aids like charts, graphs and photos.

“He likes to visualize things,” a senior administration official said at the time. “The guy’s a builder. He has spent his whole life looking at architectural renderings and floor plans.”

Questions regarding Trump’s ability to take in and process information resurfaced in December, when The Washington Post reported that his daily briefing, or PDB, is “often structured to avoid upsetting him.”

“If you talk about Russia, meddling, interference — that takes the PDB off the rails,” said one former senior U.S. intelligence official.

But Pompeo painted a much different portrait —  one of a president who takes his intelligence briefings very seriously.

“The president asks hard questions. He’s deeply engaged. We’ll have (a) rambunctious back and forth,” he said.

Defense Secretary Mattis: Government Shutdown Will Have a ‘Terrible Impact’ on Troops


Reported by Kristina Wong | 19 Jan 2018

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/19/defense-secretary-mattis-government-shutdown-will-have-a-terrible-impact-on-troops/

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday morning that a government shutdown would have a “terrible impact” on military operations.

“Our maintenance activities will probably pretty much shut down. We will not be able to induct any more of our gear that need maintenance,” he said Friday morning at the Johns Hopkins University, where he was unveiling the National Defense Strategy.

The government is barreling towards a shutdown at 11:59 p.m. Friday night, with the Senate unable to pass a 2018 spending bill or a stop-gap measure to keep the government running. At issue is immigration reform. Democrats have refused to pass a spending measure unless there is a fix for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which the president rescinded last year, but gave Congress until March 5 to fix.

Republicans argue Democrats are willing to put the issue ahead of the U.S. military, which has been seriously affected by budget instability.

In the event of a shutdown, troops and some civilians will continue to report to work and accrue pay, but will not receive paychecks during the shutdown.

Mattis said half of his civilian workers would be furloughed, which would impact operations from contracting to military medical facilities.

“There is any number of projects we have underway that keep me at the top of my game and our military at the top of our game that are handled by civilians,” he said.

“It’s got a huge morale impact,” he added. “I’ll just tell you — how long can you keep good people around when something like this happens, is always a question that’s got to hover around in the back of my mind.”

He said intelligence operations would also be impacted.

“I would just tell you that we do a lot of intelligence operations around the world and they cost money. Those obviously would stop,” he said.

Troops themselves would also be impacted, Mattis said. While active duty troops would continue to report for duty during a shutdown, reservists would not report for duty For example, he said, “this morning or last night young guys and gals somewhere in Wyoming were driving off to do their weekend duty.”

“Those troops will arrive there at their armories, by the way, and told go home if there’s a government shutdown, and they will then drive a couple hundred miles back home. These again are stoic men and women, they’ll suck it up and say okay,” he said.

“And I would just tell you that training for almost our entire reserve force will stop and you must understand the critical importance of our reserves,” he said.

He called reserve troops the “only shock absorber” the U.S. military has.

“It’s not like the old days where you could draft somebody in and 18 weeks later have them in combat with the skills they need.

“Today’s infantrymen, they’re called infantrymen because they’re infant solders, young soldiers. They still take a year to train in order to have them ready to use the gear they have on them and make certain they have the ethical and tactical abilities to deal with the battlefield today,” he said.

“So it’s got a terrible impact.”

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Dana White tweeted on Friday:

The government shutdown is destructive and puts unnecessary stress on the already stressful jobs of our service members. Time to put the money where the votes are and write the check! #FY18budget #PassTheBudget.”

Venezuela: Maduro Raises Minimum Wage by 40 Percent to $2 a Month


Reported by Ben Kew | 3 Jan 2018

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2018/01/03/venezuela-maduro-raises-minimum-wage-by-40-percent-to-2-a-month/

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, shown in this November 24, 2017 file photo, maintains that the United States is carrying out “financial persecution” against Caracas | AFP/AIZAR RALDES

Venezuela’s socialist dictator Nicolás Maduro has raised his country’s minimum wage by a further 40 percent, meaning public sector employees will now earn around two dollars a month in his seventh and final major hike of 2017.

“We have good news regarding the protection and stability of all the workers,” said Maduro in a televised address. “I am announcing the rise of the national minimum wage by 40 percent for all our doctors and public sector workers.”

The move means that working Venezuelans will now receive a basic salary of 248,510 bolivares, equivalent to $2.02 a month. On top of that, they are also handed an increased food ticket worth 549,000 bolivares worth $4.46, meaning their total income amounts to around $6.48.

Over the course of 2017, Maduro instigated seven separate minimum wage hikes in order to fight back at what he describes as an “economic war” led by the United States and other Western powers against his regime. However, the hikes are only like to worsen the country’s unprecedented rates of inflation continually depleting the value of its currency, meaning that figure is only likely to fall.

According to latest figures, inflation rose by a staggering 1,369 percent between January and November last year. The figures were only released by the country’s opposition, as the Maduro regime refuses to publish them.

As part of his socialist “Bolivarian revolution,” Maduro’s late predecessor Hugo Chávez would boast of Venezuela having the highest minimum wage in Latin America, equivalent to $372 a month. However, inflation began to soar as early as 2007 and accelerated further after oil prices crashed in 2012. In recent years, Venezuelans have been seen carrying thousands of banknotes to buy the simplest of products, in scenes similar to Germany’s Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe’s hyperinflation crisis. The government has responded by introducing higher denomination bank notes, although even the maximum note of 100,000 bolivares is still worth under one dollar.

Hyperinflation is just one of many serious economic problems faced by the regime, who in November defaulted on their debts, which amount to around $200 billion, mainly owed to Russia and China. The government is also facing the pressure of economic sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union, which mainly target the country’s state-run oil company, Petroleum of Venezuela, as well as a number of government officials.

The Maduro regime is currently moving forward with plans to launch its own national cryptocurrency known as the ‘Petro,’ backed by the nation’s considerable reserves of oil, gold, and diamonds.

Follow Ben Kew on Facebook, on Twitter at @ben_kew, or email him at bkew@breitbart.com.

House committees announce probe into Russia uranium deal


Reported

Nunes announces uranium deal investigation

Two powerful House committees on Tuesday announced a joint investigation into the 2010 sale of a uranium company with holdings in the U.S. to the Russian nuclear giant Rosatom. Lawmakers on the two panels, the House Intelligence and Oversight and Government Reform Committees, say they first want to know whether there was an FBI investigation into Russian efforts to infiltrate the U.S. energy market, which at the time included assuming shares of the uranium company, Uranium One.

“We’re not going to jump to any conclusions at this time, but one of the things we’re concerned about is whether or not there was an FBI investigation — was there a DOJ investigation — and if so, why was Congress not informed of this matter? That will be the start of the probe,” Intel head Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) told reporters in the basement of the Capitol.

The Hill reported last week that the FBI had gathered evidence that Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks as part of an effort to grow Russian President Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States — an investigation that predated the approval of the Uranium One sale.

The lawmakers want to know whether the deal should have been approved in the first place.

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) on Monday cited “very, very real concerns about why we would allow a Russian-owned company to get access to 20 percent of America’s uranium supply.”

“It’s important we find out why that deal went through.”

The House investigation retreads familiar ground for Republicans, who have used the issue of the sale to try to discredit former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton since it was revealed in conservative author Peter Schweitzer’s 2015 book “Clinton Cash.” 

The approval for the takeover was inked by a nine-agency review board that included the State Department when Clinton was secretary. 

Uranium One controlled land equal to about 20 percent of the U.S.’s uranium capacity, according to Oilprice.com — although experts note that the U.S. doesn’t actually produce a significant amount of the world’s uranium stock.

Rosatom began buying shares in the Toronto-based company in 2009 and in 2010 sought to obtain majority ownership, a deal which required the review board approval. 

Republicans have long accused the former secretary of tying the State Department’s approval of the takeover to $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. 

The State Department did not take unilateral action but instead was one of the nine agencies on the review board, known as the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). The Clinton campaign has maintained that the then-secretary of State was not directly involved in the process.

King raised his concerns with the Treasury Department at the time and said Tuesday that he was assured that the issue would be fully investigated.

“Obviously, we want to see what happened to that inquiry — what information caught their attention, what they knew then and why they acted or didn’t act,” King said.

Since that time, the lawmakers said, a confidential informant “who wants to talk about his role in this” has come forward to the committees.

The two panels are currently in discussions with the Justice Department to release that individual from a nondisclosure agreement.

“Look, it’s possible, maybe there was no FBI or DOJ investigation going on — that’s possible. We’re not going to jump to any conclusions,” Nunes said Tuesday.

The announcement of the investigation came within 30 minutes of the announcement of a separate investigation, by the Oversight and Judiciary Committees, into the Obama Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Nunes and King, alongside Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), did not mention Clinton by name in their announcement on Tuesday, and Nunes declined to say whether the committees expected to call her forward to testify.

“It’s a little premature. Let us first determine whether or not there was an open investigation by FBI or DOJ and then we’ll get back to you with more information,” Nunes told reporters.

Clinton told C-SPAN on Monday that renewed focus on Russian uranium deals approved during her tenure is nothing more than debunked “baloney” — and signals that Republicans are getting nervous about the federal investigation into Russia’s attempts to swing the 2016 election. That probe includes looking for any signs of collusion with the Trump campaign itself.

Other House Democrats echoed her assessment on Tuesday, calling the two new investigations a partisan exercise intended to divert attention away from the media frenzy surrounding the various Russia investigations.

“These investigations were initiated on a partisan basis and will shed no light on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, but then again they are not intended to do so,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.

“Acting on the urging of the President who has repeatedly denied the intelligence agencies’ conclusions regarding Russian involvement in our election, they are designed to distract attention and pursue the president’s preferred goal — attacking Clinton and Obama.”

Republicans view the Uranium One probe as distinct from the broader House Intelligence Committee investigation into Russian election meddling, long stymied by partisan infighting.

Nunes, who said he would step back from leading that probe this spring, said that he has as of yet had no contact with the White House on this investigation.

The chairman in April faced accusations from Democrats of carrying water for Trump when he announced that he had briefed the White House on information that turned out to have come from staff on the president’s National Security Council.

House leadership is fully behind the Uranium One probe, DeSantis said Tuesday.

– This report was updated at 3:44 p.m. EST


US And Allies Send Military Message To North Korea


Reported 

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/us-and-allies-send-military-message-to-north-korea-2/?

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The three nations threatened by North Korea’s nuclear missile program united for a show of force Sunday aimed at reminding Kim Jong-un’s regime that they have dominant air power in the Korean skies.

The United States sent four fighters and two bombers to fly alongside four South Korean fighters over the region near the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas. The U.S. aircraft also joined four Japanese fighters to fly over the waters near Kyushu, a Japanese island in close proximity to the Korean Peninsula.

The American planes included two B-1B Lancer bombers from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, and four Marine Corps F-35B fighters from the Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan, according to U.S. Pacific Command.

It is the second time in the past month that B-1Bs and F-35s have been sent over the Korean Peninsula.

The Pacific Command said the jets, which conducted live-fire exercises, were sent up in response to the Sept. 14 launch of a North Korean missile. The missile flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

The military exercise came as U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley reminded the word that the United States is getting tired of talking about a resolution to the North Korean crisis.

“If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed,” Haley said. “And we all know that, and none of us want that.”

Haley said the U.S. has been doing everything it can to find a diplomatic solution for the crisis, while leaving military action as a possible last resort.

“We wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first. If that doesn’t work, General Mattis will take care of it,” she said, referencing Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster said time has all but run out.

“This regime is so close now to threatening the United States and others with a nuclear weapon, that we really have to move with a great sense of urgency on sanctions, on diplomacy and preparing, if necessary, a military option,” McMaster told Fox News Sunday. 

Three Killed, Over 200 Wounded As Muslim Rioters Rage Over Temple Mount


Reported by Aaron Klein | 21 Jul 2017

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/07/21/three-killed-200-wounded-muslim-rioters-rage-temple-mount/

Protest leaders, including top Palestinian officials, claim the metal detectors are part of an Israeli conspiracy to hamper Muslim worship at the Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and a site considered holy in Islam. The activists and Palestinian officials seemingly fail to note that Israel’s new security measures were put into place in direct response to the murderous Palestinian terrorist attack at the Mount last Friday in which three assailants somehow smuggled weapons onto the site.  The metal detectors will protect all visitors to the Mount, including Muslim worshipers.  

The activists protesting at the Temple Mount ignore that metal detectors have been in place for years for Jewish and Christian worshipers accessing the Western Wall. And Muslims on the Hajj pilgrimage pass through metal detectors at airports and border crossings.

temple mount

A Palestinian uses a slingshot against Israeli soldiers during violent clashes in the West Bank city of Bethlehem (AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

On Friday, Israeli Police cited information that “extremist elements” where planning to “to cause violent disruptions to the public order, and thereby to threaten the public peace, including the [safety] of those coming to pray at the holy sites and other residents of the area.” 

As a result, Israeli security forces erected checkpoints at main entrances to Jerusalem and are blocking several roads leading to the Temple Mount area. Some 3,000 police forces were deployed to Jerusalem’s Old City in addition to five Israel Defense Forces battalions that have been put on standby.

The Times of Israel reported on Friday’s ensuing deadly clashes: 

The Palestinian Authority’s official Wafa news agency said a 17-year-old was killed in Ras al-Amud outside the Old City after being shot by a “settler,” though no shooter was identified; the term is often used by Palestinians to refer to any Israeli out of uniform. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the teen as Muhammad Mahmoud Sharaf from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.

A second person was reportedly shot in the A-Tur area of east Jerusalem and died of his wounds at Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem. The third death reportedly occurred in Abu Dis in the West Bank, near Jerusalem, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Over 200 people were reported injured in the clashes across Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said, adding that the injuries were incurred from live bullets, rubber-coated bullets, burning and tear gas inhalation.

There were reports of other clashes between Israeli forces and rioters across eastern sections of Jerusalem and in several West Bank locations, including checkpoints.

temple mount

Palestinian youths hurl stones towards Israeli police officers during clashes in Jerusalem. (AP/Mahmoud Illean)

Some of those arrested included officials from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party.

The Jerusalem Post further reported

According to Palestinian reports, 10 residents were arrested in east Jerusalem, among them were Fatah officials. 

Some 400 Muslims attended the prayer next to the Gate of the Tribes (Bab al-Asbat), the place that sparked the violence earlier this week. Before the prayer, the leader called on the attendees to be patient, and said that “the Jews, that are occupying Palestine, are on their way to hell.”

Ynet posted an update on the number of injured: 

The Palestinian Red Crescent says 41 Palestinians were taken to hospitals or clinics with injures from live fire, rubber bullets and beatings. About 150 Palestinians were treated for tear gas inhalation.

 Four Israeli police officers have been reportedly injured in the clashes after being struck with stones and flares.

The Palestinian charge that Israel is hampering Muslim access to the Temple Mount is contradicted by facts on the ground. Israel allows the Jordanian-controlled Waqf to serve as custodians of the Mount and grants Muslim worshipers access to the site 24 hours per day, seven days a week with the exception of rare instances of security threats.

Jewish and Christian visitors, however, are restricted by the Waqf from visiting the Mount except on small tours for about two hours per day. The Waqf does not allow non-Muslims to pray on the Mount or bring holy objects to the site; whereas Muslim prayer is unrestricted. Waqf representatives closely monitor non-Muslim visitors to the site and are known to boot those engaging in prayer.

west bank riot temple mount

Palestinians throw stones against Israeli soldiers during clashes in the West Bank city of Bethlehem (AP/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

Israel on Thursday partially blamed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for helping to fuel anti-Israel incitement regarding false threats to the Temple Mount.

“UNESCO is a full partner to the false incitement by Palestinians and radical Islam who claim that Al-Aksa [Temple Mount mosque] is in danger,” Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO in Paris Carmel Shama HaCohen said

Last Friday’s Mount terrorist attack occurred less than two weeks after the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed an anti-Israel resolution declaring Jerusalem’s Old City and its ancient walls to be “occupied” sites and listed the areas as Palestinian heritage sites in “danger.” 

The Temple Mount is located in Jerusalem’s Old City, and last Friday’s attack occurred near the Lions Gate, part of Jerusalem’s ancient walls singled out by UNESCO.

And the terrorist attack took place one week after UNESCO passed another anti-Israel resolution regarding the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron – considered the second holiest site in Judaism after the Temple Mount – claiming the tomb is a “Palestinian” world heritage site in danger. 

 Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

Unimpressed Trump Sends Pentagon Back to the Drawing Board on Afghanistan


Reported by Edwin Mora | 20 Jul 2017

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/07/20/trump-wont-accept-afghan-war-strategy-that-mirrors-approach-of-the-past/

The meeting came as the Pentagon briefed lawmakers about plans to increase the U.S. military footprint in the country.

Contrary to mainstream media claims that the president has taken a completely hands-off approach to the 16-year-old conflict in Afghanistan, Trump presided over Wednesday’s meeting primarily aimed at discussing the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, a Trump administration official familiar with the deliberations told Breitbart News on condition of anonymity.

President Trump indicated that he is not satisfied with the strategy as it currently stands.

The Pentagon and White House National Security Council (NSC) declined to provide specifics about the developing plan.

President Trump demanded that his team go back to square one if necessary and create a realistic plan that ensures Afghanistan is ultimately able to stand on its own as a country, said the administration official, noting that the meeting served as a sort of wake up call for those involved in developing the strategy.

It appears that besides the Pentagon, the NSC has at least some authority in setting the strategy.

Asked about the meeting, the Pentagon did not confirm nor deny that the President asked officials to go back to the drawing board.

“We’re not going to discuss White House meetings or direction,” said Adam Stump, a U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) spokesman, when Breitbart News asked whether or not it has been forced to start developing the Afghanistan war strategy from scratch and when it expects to present the plan to Trump.

The NSC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters last Friday a decision on the new plan would be unveiled around “mid-July” or “somewhere around there. We are driven by the maturity of the discussion, and where we’re at, we are not going to meet some timeline if we are not ready, but we are pretty close.” 

Trump has granted the Pentagon the authority to decide how many additional troops to deploy to the war-ravaged country. Currently, Mattis may increase that number of troops by between 3,000 and 5,000, from the 8,400 already there. Mattis noted on Friday that the number of additional troops has not been “finalized yet,” adding that the Pentagon is waiting from input from the U.S. State Department.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, CNN reports that as it currently stands, the strategy:

Encompasses a way ahead in Afghanistan, including the possibility of sending more troops, but also a look at new ideas for dealing with Pakistan, which the US believes is supporting or turning a blind eye to a number of terror groups operating inside the country.

The president made it clear he is not interested in any approach that resembles the strategies used by his predecessors and will not accept anything less than a dramatic overhaul, the official told Breitbart News.

Directly dealing with Pakistan’s support for terrorists fighting the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan would mark a significant departure from what America has done in the past.

Most of the 2,255 U.S. military fatalities and 20,245 injury incidents have taken place in provinces that border Pakistan.

The Pentagon spokesman defined what victory in Afghanistan means for the Trump administration, saying it ultimately involves a settlement with the Taliban and terrorists laying down their arms.

Stump told Breitbart News:

The U.S. strategy in Afghanistan remains centered on working with NATO allies, operational partners, and the international community to defeat the remnants of core al Qaeda and to defeat other violent extremist organizations and terrorist groups, such as ISIS-K [Islamic State], to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become a safe-haven for groups to plan and execute attacks against the United States, U.S. persons overseas, or allies and partners; and continuing efforts to provide financial and advisory support to the Afghan Government and to enable a well-trained, equipped, and sustainable ANDSF [Afghan National Defense and Security Force] that provides security in Afghanistan.

The U.S. and Afghan Governments agree that the best way to ensure lasting peace and security in Afghanistan is through reconciliation and a political settlement with the Taliban. The United States supports an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned reconciliation process and supports any process that includes violent extremist groups laying down their arms.

Citing unnamed U.S. officials, the Washington Post (WaPo) reports that the current U.S.-Afghan war is framed around a four-year plan to degrade the Taliban this is unlikely to “yield significant results until its later stages.”

In recently issued reports, the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon have accused Pakistan of willingly serving as a safe-haven for the Taliban and its affiliates, including the deadly Haqqani Network.

The Taliban affirmed its relationship with al-Qaeda in December 2016.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon by A. F. Branco


Feeling Heavy

URL of the original posting site: http://comicallyincorrect.com/2017/07/19/feeling-heavy/#ZTRstsK3Itmjo0B8.99

The mainstream media want to keep focusing on Russia while the rest of the country are tired of it, and ready to move on to other issues.

Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2017.

More A.F. Branco cartoons at Constitution.com here.

A.F.Branco Coffee Table Book <—- Order Here!

National Security Council Unable to Release Susan Rice Documents Because They’re in Obama’s…


Judicial Watch announced that the National Security Council (NSC) informed them via letter that materials regarding the unmasking by Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice of “the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team” were no longer in their possession.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxlpmHuhLh9xQVhQdEJOR09mZzQ/preview

They weren’t in any government entity’s possession. They had been moved to the Obama Library. What does that mean?

Via Judicial Watch:

The NSC will not fulfill an April 4 Judicial Watch request for records regarding information relating to people “who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.”

The agency also informed Judicial Watch that it would not turn over communications with any Intelligence Community member or agency concerning the alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election; the hacking of DNC computers; or the suspected communications between Russia and Trump campaign/transition officials. Specifically, the NSC told Judicial Watch:

Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library.  You may send your request to the Obama Library.  However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office.

The president of the watch-dog group, Tom Fitton, said in a statement regarding the news:

“Prosecutors, Congress, and the public will want to know when the National Security Council shipped off the records about potential intelligence abuses by the Susan Rice and others in the Obama White House to the memory hole of the Obama Presidential Library. We are considering our legal options but we hope that the Special Counsel and Congress also consider their options and get these records.” 

While everyone is pointing their fingers at Trump, screaming about obstruction of  justice, what is being said about Obama? What is being said about this? Nothing. Not one word…

Putin Makes Dangerous Move, Sends 3 Warships to NATO Waters


URL of the original posting site: http://conservativetribune.com/russia-copies-trump-armada-ships/

Three Russian warships armed with long-range cruise missiles have been spotted in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Latvia, in what appeared to be a challenge to President Donald Trump, Europe and NATO. The Latvian Army posted to its Twitter account that the Russian ships Liven 551, Serpukhov 603 and the Morshansk 824 were seen in the sea on Sunday. Newsweek reported that the ships were as close as four nautical miles from country’s coast.

The warships were initially deployed to St. Petersburg, Russia, for a Victory Day celebration marking the end of World War II. But the ships left those waters early — Victory Day is May 9 — and headed toward the Baltic Sea, according to the the U.K. Express, which translated Russian news agency Fontanka.

The purpose for the warships in the region was not immediately clear. However, the paper reported that the presence of the vessels was most likely in response to the arrival of the USS Carney in the Baltic Sea, which is also armed with cruise missiles.

The U.S. Navy posted to its Twitter account on Monday that the Carney had crossed seas near Denmark last week, adding that the vessel was “conducting a patrol in support of U.S. national security interests in Europe.”

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Russian warships suddenly moving into the area — especially after being redirected from a holiday celebration — certainly looks like a response to the U.S. military being there.

Newsweek reported that Mikhail Nenashev, a representative for a Russian naval supporters group, confirmed to Russian news agency RIA Novosti that some deployments were diverted and would not take part in the celebration. He did not elaborate any further.

A Russian source who did not wish to be identified also told Newsweek that fewer ships would participate in the celebration but would not confirm if any changes were related to the presence of the USS Carney.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, no stranger to military provocations, is apparently testing Latvia, which is a member of NATO and the European Union.

Putin would be wise to keep his fleet where it belongs: in port.

Today’s Politically INCORRECT Cartoon


waving flagEnemy Within

It’s as though the 9th circuit is trying to sabotage President Trumps effort to keep America safe from terrorism.

9th Circuit vs Travel Ban / Political Cartoon by A.F. Branco ©2017.

To see more Legal Insurrection Branco cartoons, click here.

A.F.Branco 2017 Calendar <—- Order Here!

9th-circus-court2

Report: Islamic State Using Drones to Drop Bombs with ‘Pinpoint Accuracy’


waving flagAuthored by Edwin Mora | 26 Jan 2017

“I am aware that ISIL has used commercial-off-the-shelf UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] to drop small explosive weapons,” Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a top U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, told the Washington Times. “This capability is dangerous and has propaganda value, but it will not change the fact that the enemy is being defeated in both Iraq and Syria.”Oh good

The Times reports:

The new capability raises the specter that the Islamic State one day could attack urban areas from the air, not just on the ground. The U.S. military is alarmed by the terrorist army’s quick technological advances and is evaluating more than 20 systems to detect and destroy its drone air force. Other systems already have been rushed to the war.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon confirmed that ISIS is using small drones carrying grenade-like explosives in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. The drones have caused civilian and military casualties, the Pentagon revealed. A U.S.-backed Iraqi offensive is currently fighting to push ISIS out of Mosul.

In a January 18 letter, then-U.S. Army Secretary Eric K. Fanning reportedly wrote Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a U.S. Marine veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, that the jihadi drone threat is on the rise.

“These advances present our adversaries with opportunities to quickly adjust and improve their tactics, and the Army must remain adaptive and agile to respond to the evolving threat,” declared Fanning. against-america

He revealed that the U.S. military is testing more than 20 government and industry systems “designed to detect, identify and electronically defeat” jihadi drones.

In a propaganda video disseminated on social media Tuesday, ISIS featured aerial footage of a Chinese Skywalker X8 drone that can be purchased on Amazon targeting clusters of Iraqi soldiers, tanks, and buildings. The video captured ISIS’ ability to assemble, arm, deploy, and guide drones to locate and strike specific targets.

Steven Stalinsky, executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which obtained the video from an ISIS Internet channel, described the small aircraft as “the first offensive drone able to carry bombs, albeit small ones.”

Echoing the former U.S. Army secretary, the MEMRI chief predicted that ISIS will expand its use of drones.

“They have been using drones for a few years, mainly for their films, but there has been a major increase in usage,” Mr. Stalinsky said, adding that drones “are easily obtainable online, then can be modified. We have seen many drones used by ISIS that can be bought on Amazon.” 

ISIS has been employing the use of commercially available drones for reconnaissance and to capture footage for propaganda videos. The jihadist group has also reportedly used drones to drop grenades. The Iraqi military has confirmed, too, that ISIS has weaponized drones.

“Daesh [ISIS] uses drones for surveillance and sometimes it attaches explosives to them and uses to target commanders or headquarters,” Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab al-Saidi of Iraq’s Counter Terrorism Service told reporters in November at a military headquarters in a Mosul suburb.

Rep. Hunter told the Times that after a classified briefing on Tuesday, he is confident the U.S. military in Iraq is capable of defeating ISIS drones.

Report: Obama to Free Gitmo Detainees Who Have Vowed to Behead Americans


waving flagAuthored by Edwin Mora / 5 Jan 2017

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2017/01/05/report-obama-mass-transfer-gitmo-detainees-threatened-behead-bomb-americans/

In recent weeks, the number of detainees who are expected to be set free by the end of Obama’s tenure on January 20 has varied by news agencies from 17 to 19. Earlier this week, the White House responded to incoming President Donald Trump’s urging to stop transferring prisoners out of Guantánamo, saying it plans to liberate more detainees before Obama leaves office.

The Obama administration reportedly told Congress last month that the sitting president would reduce the population of Guantánamo, also known as Gitmo, by 19 to 40 detainees.

Now, the Daily Mail reports:

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President Obama is planning to transfer at least 22 additional Guantanamo Bay detainees out of the military detention center before he leaves office later this month, DailyMail.com has learned.

The group being released will be drawn from those held at Guantanamo – who include an accused senior al Qaeda bomb-maker, the terror group’s top financial manager, and two intended 9/11 hijackers, who have all been held in the Cuba-based U.S. detention facility for more than a decade

U.S. transfers 15 Guantanamo detainees to United Arab Emirates

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Of the 59 prisoners still held at Gitmo, 22 have been cleared for release by Obama’s multi-agency parole-style board known as the Periodic Review Board (PRB) and nearly half (27) are considered forever prisoners,” or too dangerous to release.

However, the PRB has made the decision to liberate prisoners who had already been designated too dangerous to release, which means the “forever prisoner” designation has not prevented the Obama administration from transferring out detainees.

According to the Miami Herald, the remaining 10 prisoners are still undergoing war crimes proceedings at military commissions, including six who are facing death penalty tribunals.

The Daily Mail reports:

The list of “recommended for transfer” prisoners includes a number of top al Qaeda operatives and commanders

[…]

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Some of the recommended transfers have also vowed to return to jihad if they are ever released, according to reports from US military officials. They have also threatened to assassinate the U.S. president, kill American citizens, and attack other world leaders who are allied with the West.

At least four countries — including Italy, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia — are expected to take in some of the 19 prisoners who are expected to be transferred by January 20.

On Wednesday, Reuters reports that Obama will transfer four prisoners to Saudi Arabia in the next 24 hours.

The Daily Mail notes:

Fifty-nine enemy combatants in total still remain at Guantanamo, including terror “mastermind” Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, two of the “20th hijackers” for the 9/11 attacks, and the strategists behind the USS Cole bombing of 2000.

The group includes al Qaeda henchmen from around the world who are trained in lethal military tactics – ranging from sniper assassins and rocket-propelled grenade operators, to explosives and chemical weapons experts.

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According to the latest estimate by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), three out of every 10 Guantánamo detainees who have been released under both Presidents Obama and George W. Bush are suspected or confirmed to have re-engaged in terrorist activities. Some of the liberated prisoners are believed to have American blood on their hands.

The Daily Mail points out, “Some released detainees have gone back into terrorism. Four of the senior leaders in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are former Guantanamo Bay detainees that were transferred to Saudi Arabia or Sudan.”Oh good

Boko Haram Jihadists Teach Boy Soldiers How to Rape Women


waving flagAuthored by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D. / 28 Dec 2016

URL of the original posting site: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/12/28/boko-haram-jihadists-teach-boy-soldiers-rape-women/

One 15-year-old boy known only as Ahmed said that the girls “scream and cry for help,” but the militants don’t care. “Sometimes they’ll be slapped and threatened with guns if they didn’t cooperate,” he said.

According to Ahmed, the jihadists accompany their demonstrations with specific instructions on how to carry out a rape. “They tell us to remember to hold the girl tight on both hands, pinned to the floor,” he said. “They said we shouldn’t let a woman overpower us.”

The young soldier said that before one attack, his superiors told the militants to capture as many women as they could, promising that they would be allowed to “have fun” when they returned to their base.

“At first I didn’t understand what they meant by ‘you are going to have fun’ and nobody thought to explain,” said Ahmed. This was before his training in sexual assault.

According to Ahmed, encouraging young militants to have sex with captives is a relatively new tactic, since previously, the leaders forbade teenage soldiers from doing so, saying that women belonged to men and not boys. The change in policy reportedly reflects a need to incentivize younger soldiers, especially now that a significant number of senior fighters have been killed off by the Nigerian military.

Adding insult to injury, a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) released in October documented how many girls who had survived assaults by Boko Haram, then suffered sexual violence at the hands of officials at refugee camps in northern Nigeria.  In its study, HRW found that rape, sexual harassment, inducement into sexual activity by promising food, and other such violence against the victims of Boko Haram were shockingly regular occurrences among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps.

Members of the NGO interviewed 43 women and girls willing to discuss their experience of “sexual abuse, including rape, and exploitation” at the camp. Many of these accused an array of soldiers, police, and militia leaders of sexual violence.

Many of the African girls and women who eventually return home after escaping Boko Haram are stigmatized by their own communities because of the sexual violence they suffered.  These women are sometimes labeled as “Boko Haram wives” or even “epidemics” and lack organized services to help them recover from their experiences and reintegrate into their communities.

RAPE American women respond

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